We’ve all been there when the headlines come on the news about another school safety breach. It doesn’t matter if it’s in our own city, one nearby, or one on the other side of the country, we say to ourselves, “There’s got to be a better way.” And that’s where the conversation usually ends because school systems just don’t have the money to install major league security systems on all their campuses…. Or do they?
When Houston’s Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School System asked themselves this question, they came up with a novel approach – instead of waiting for the state or federal government to provide necessary funds, why not use the funds of a community bond project to benefit all schools in the district.
“It was a tall order,” says Josh Solis, Senior Project Manager for the School District. “But when we looked at the cost of traditional hard-wired emergency phone systems, we found CASE had a better solution for us. Going wireless allowed us to eliminate the cost of trenching, providing infrastructure to remote areas, penetrating existing walls and using limited rack spaces in our existing distribution panels. We also expect to see long-term savings with the ability to relocate the towers without having to reroute permanent infrastructure. These are significant savings over Plain-Old-Telephone lines (P.O.T.s). CASE also offered a feature no one else had, CASEAlert, which would allow us to monitor every unit for any issues like tampering or other damage. Now, we get a daily email confirming each phone is working. The District expects that we be diligent in our decision making when selecting products, and the benefits that CASE provides, coupled with their experience, gave us peace of mind to know that our CASE Emergency System would stand the test of time without the need to repeat this process in just a few years.”
What made it possible is the 100% wire-free design and installation option for CASE Blue Light Towers and other emergency communications products. A solar panel powers each unit while also producing enough spare energy to charge an on-board battery that can offer up to 7 days of back-up power. Voice and video communications are connected via cellular technology or satellite phone with the client’s provider of choice. Connections route directly to 911 operators, city dispatchers, or other designated emergency contact of the host location’s choice. And, the optional CASE Alert monitoring system automatically checks and notifies maintenance personnel if a unit has been tampered with or needs repair. While the CFISD installation did include a few hard-wired units to accommodate the addition of video surveillance equipment, the majority of units were all wire free.
Until the day school safety isn’t a concern, we have to shoulder these concerns as a community. CASE will be there to make sure the call for help is answered when it’s needed most. (See the full case study here)