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Panic Badges: VA's Patrick Henry High Staff Wear Emergency Switches on Lanyards

The Ekahau alert device

A high school in Glade Spring, VA is implementing a wireless alerting and panic button system for its teachers. Patrick Henry High School has adopted lightweight badges from Ekahau connected to the school's wireless network and worn on lanyards by faculty and staff. If a wearer activates the device by pulling down on a switch, the badge will communicate that person's location to administrators and the local police dispatch.

The company specializes in creating location-aware technology.

The school eventually will also be able to send mass notifications through the badge. Those alerts display as brief text messages on the device's LED. Device management software records and time-stamps all emergency events for later review or auditing.

"By locating the site of the danger quickly, we will be able to immediately respond to medical and other emergencies should they occur," said Principal Keith Perrigan. "Ekahau's technology allows us to identify a possible emergency location with the push of a button. We know that a quick response saves lives in a school crisis situation. Ekahau technology uses our existing WiFi network to dramatically cut down on response times and gives teachers a way to instantly notify first responders of an issue."

Skyview High School in Nampa, ID is also testing out the location-aware badges among its teachers and staff.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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