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Two-Stage Response: Is It Right for Your Company?

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Part of what makes a Rapid Emergency Response System (RERS) effective is, well, the rapid response. In many of the crisis scenarios across the country, the response time of law enforcement and first responders has proven to be critical to resolving crisis. Schools, in particular, are strong examples for when rapid law enforcement notification can be the difference-maker in a life or death situation. However, we've seen, throughout the industry, the emergence of a two-stage response concept. While RERS and two-stage response may initially seem at odds, these systems can actually function on a complementary basis in many situations. 

We view Rapid Emergency Response as a necessary industry safety tool in almost any setting - be that schools, industrial spaces, commercial buildings or hospitals. Ensuring that law enforcement and first responders are immediately notified of a crisis situation is a critical component of people and asset protection. But, in certain settings, such as industrial spaces, a two-stage response can be appropriate. 

Unlike K-12 settings, industrial spaces have seen a rise in the use of two-stage response deployments. When a RERS pull station is initially activated, on-site employee  medical and security personnel will  be immediately notified with specific location information through text/email/phone call, then these on-site responders, armed with wearable mobile devices, can activate them and rapidly notify external law enforcement and medical responders if the situation requires additional resources.

As another example, hospitals have a unique environment where a two stage response might be a benefit.  A pull station located behind a nurse station is readily available for staff to use.  If they need security assistance, they activate the device immediately contacting security through their radios with specific location information as well as alert the operator to make a code announcement over the PA system.  As the on-site security personnel arrive and assess the situation, they can quickly summon police with a push of a button on their wearable mobile device.  This allows the security personnel to stay engaged in the situation while easily alerting police. 

There are several different ways in which a two-stage response system could be deployed in these settings, each of which depend on the goals of the end user. Conceptually, two-stage response is a customizable layer of asset protection. It is clearly not appropriate in all settings, but it can aid organizations that feel prepared for emergency situations but want the added value of external law enforcement or medical response when necessary. 

We are constantly thinking through different kinds of crisis situations, and as security industry professionals, we value the fluid landscape of both security technology and philosophy. To that end, we would be interested in hearing your approach and thoughts on two-stage response: does your organization utilize it? Is it effective or ineffective? Is it counter-intuitive?

 

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