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Oklahoma School Takes Proactive Approach to Ensure Quickest Law Enforcement and Emergency Response Times in Crisis Situations to Increase School Safety

Norman's Community Christian School is working with parents to implement first Rapid Emergency Response System (RERS) from BluePoint Alert Solutions.

NORMAN, Okla., Monday, April 27, 2015 - Community Christian School has never experienced an active shooter situation, and it intends to keep it that way. Taking into account the devastating school shooting instances around the country, school administrators decided to take a proactive stance on prevention and emergency protocol development in crisis situations.

Gathering parents, local law enforcement representatives, and school safety advocate Michele Gay, Kristy Watson, P.T.S.F. president, are organizing a parent-teacher safety night to raise awareness and funds for the installation of a Rapid Emergency Response System (RERS), provided by BluePoint Alert Solutions. The system will shorten law enforcement and first responder response times, and speed the response of building occupants in their safety procedures during crisis situations.

Local Norman Police Department Captains Todd Gibson and Blake Green will attend and emphasize the need for proactive approaches to school safety, rather than waiting for a tragedy to occur before responding.

Michele Gay, a featured speaker at the parent-teacher safety night, lost a child in the horrific Sandy Hook shootings a few years ago. Since then, she has become a national advocate for school safety, founding Safe and Sound Schools - A Sandy Hook Initiative, an organization that seeks to empower communities to improve school safety and security. Gay has spoken at conferences and events around the country about the need to implement better safety standards at schools at all levels.

"We need to continually re-examine our safety priorities, practices and measures in schools," Gay said. "There is a growing nationwide movement toward improving education, preparation, and tools and technology for safer schools. I commend Community Christian School, and other schools, that are taking a proactive approach to this very important issue."

According to a 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Justice (page 116), the average response time of law enforcement to an emergency situation is five to six minutes. Speeding that response time is a priority in crisis situations, as law enforcement, trained and prepared, are the best resource for mitigating and resolving threats. Following the Sandy Hook shootings, BluePoint Alert Solutions looked at the issue of response times - for first responders and campus occupants - and came up with a simple and effective solution: a Rapid Emergency Response System (RERS).

Functioning much like the fire pull stations seen in nearly every building across the country, BluePoint's RERS pull station is designed to notify law enforcement in seconds as soon as it is activated. The wireless system is installed throughout school buildings with pull stations, flashing emergency notification lights, and mobile pendants worn by faculty - all serving to significantly close the gap between the recognition of a crisis situation and the response time of local law enforcement, teachers and administrators.

"We realized that schools could have the best plan laid out for internal response preparedness, but without ensuring that law enforcement was notified as quickly as possible, those protocols are not as effective as they could be," said BluePoint co-founder and CMO John Shales. "We wanted to provide another piece of the emergency response puzzle, and we believe that speeding law enforcement and emergency response time, as well as immediately notifying building occupants, are crucial steps in the process."

The parent-teacher safety night at Community Christian School takes place on April 28 at 6 p.m. It is designed to educate parents and faculty about the security technologies available. The evening will provide an opportunity to hear the story and experience of Michele Gay, as well the perspective of local law enforcement, and to ask questions about the RERS the school intends to implement.

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