Seminole School Board to vote on panic button app Tuesday

Meeting scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.


SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Teachers and staff in Seminole County may soon have another tool at their disposal to keep students safe in an emergency situation.

School board members on Tuesday will discuss approving a contract to use the Rave Panic Button smartphone application.

Makers of the technology describe the app as an instant line of communication between schools and police in emergency scenarios.

"It allows teachers and staff to be another conduit to activate in an emergency," SCPS spokesperson Michael Lawrence said.

If approved, the app would give teachers and staff the ability to instantly alert first responders during an emergency.  The situations could range from fights or medical emergencies to an active shooter.

"In a true emergency, every second counts, every second matters," Lawrence said.  "So the quicker we can get that information and know what's going on, the quicker we can respond and hopefully resolve it."

Dispatchers who receive the signal will immediately know the name and phone number of the person using the button.  They will also be able to listen in if the person is unable to talk.

The app is also designed to use GPS to help pinpoint the emergency, which could dramatically cut down on response time.

"The more levels of protection that we can have at our schools, the more peace of mind our families at home can have," Lawrence said.

While the app is free to download, district leaders said a one-year contract for service would cost the district $60,000. Tuesday's school board meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

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