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Washington State District Issuing Panic Devices

Ekahau's wireless RFID panic button solution is designed to minimize emergency response times by eliminating map or floor-plan look-ups.
Ekahau's wireless RFID panic button solution is designed to minimize emergency response times by eliminating map or floor-plan look-ups.

Grandview Middle School is outfitting its teachers and staff with small, lightweight radio frequency identification (RFID) devices that can be used to notify others quickly in the event of an emergency. This school, which is in a small town a three-hour drive southeast of Seattle, WA, is working with Ekahau to implement the RFID solution.

The Ekahau wireless RFID panic button solution is meant to be worn. It uses a school's existing Wi-Fi network. When a teacher needs fast help, he or she can pull down on the badge, and his or her location will be transmitted to dispatchers and nearby teachers. This location awareness is intended to minimize emergency response times by eliminating map or floor-plan look-ups.

The device can also transmit a short amount of text-based information to communicate with people. Grandview's local police can also log into Ekahau Vision Real-Time Location System (RTLS), the management software supporting the devices, to send messages to badge-holders. That software retains a log of activities in which the badges have been used, which provides an audit for future follow-up.

"The Ekahau solution helps us locate teachers quickly and effectively respond to health emergencies," said Kevin Chase, superintendent of the Grandview School District. "Unlike video surveillance solutions or armed guards, the Ekahau solution is very affordable and any school can adopt it to make their school safer."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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