Alabama School District Implements Emergency Alert as Part of VoIP Rollout


Alabama's Elmore County Public School District has completed its installation of an Internet protocol (IP) communications platform, which integrates district-wide emergency alert capabilities.

The 15-campus district deployed a solution running Cisco Unified Communications and 1,200 IP handsets, as well as Cistera ConvergenceServer and Emergency Alerting and Notification.

The alert and notification system includes three components: RapidBroadcast, an enterprise-level application engine that uses IP phones to transmit text, voice or pre-recorded broadcasts; LMRConnect, which provides interoperability among multiple frequency two-way radio environments and the IP phones; and ZoneController, which integrates IP communications with overhead speaker systems, enabling simultaneous paging across both IP phones and overhead speakers without echo.

To verify the effectiveness of Cistera's Event Alerting and Notification solution in a simulated emergency, administrators recently conducted a successful training exercise focused on a campus intruder scenario at one of the district's middle schools.

"We are very happy with the features and capabilities of Cistera's Event Alerting and Notification solution, and we use them on a daily basis," said Davis Brock, director of technology for the school system. "But the success of the drill reinforced our overall satisfaction and peace-of-mind that we have a reliable communications system in place to share important information if we are faced with an emergency."

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About the author: Dian Schaffhauser covers high tech, business and higher education for a number of publications. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.