Alabama School District Initiates a District-Wide IP Alert System

Continuing with the theme of our last post, it appears that other governmental departments in the state of Alabama are picking up on the trend to implement system-wide emergency alert systems. In Dian Schaffhauser's article on T.H.E. Journal, Alabama's Elmore County School District has installed and tested a Cisco/Cistera integrated solution, and they are very pleased.

The solution integrates three components:
  • RapidBroadcast is an network-wide IP phone system involving text, SMS, voice, and pre-recorded messaging. This is a Voice-over-Internet-Protocol engine that ties together all of these services into a single package allowing entities to enlist their own computer networks to host telephony capabilities.
  • LandMobileRadioConnect is a multiple-frequency compatibility medium connecting two-way radios and the IP phones from the RapidBroadcast system. This allows two-way radios to integrate into VoIP networks, and vice-versa.
  • ZoneController is a system that integrates with the first two to provide paging via IP Phone, radio, and loudspeaker emplacements.
The school district encapsulates 15 campuses. One of these, a middle school, ran a test drill successfully using the new system, and the results were satisfactory. Davis Brock, the technology director for the middle school, had this to say: "..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."

As the world gets smaller and communications travel closer to the speed of light, the ability to alert whole systems is becoming commonplace in corporate, federal, and as evidenced by the past two articles, civic installations.

Dian Schaffhauser, "Alabama School District Implements Emergency Alert as Part of VoIP Rollout," T.H.E. Journal, 2/8/2008, http://www.thejournal.com/articles/21999

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