How to Speed up Response to Active Shooters in Higher Ed

December 7, 2015

Katharine Dahl

By their nature, higher education institutions are generally open environments with minimal control over who has access to their facilities and grounds.  In today’s world, that means colleges and universities are forced to address the reality of increased active shooter incidents across the country. The number and frequency of active shooter incidents is increasing, and the amount of time first responders have to respond and impact the event is limited and seems to be decreasing.

The recent FBI study found that 69% of active shooter incidents last less than five minutes. In such a short time period, it’s no surprise that officers arrive before the end of incident only 31% of the time.

The window for students, faculty, and staff to respond in an emergency is also small. Even the best notification systems require key personnel to be notified, access the notification system, draft, and send the emergency alert. As past active shooter incidents show, there is not enough time for even the most prepared staff to respond.

As outlined below, you can see how the current chain of reporting consumes precious minutes and delays responders from arriving to the scene.


This chain of notification slows down response time and costs lives. Rave Panic Button short circuits that notification chain and immediately  and directly  notifies staff, faculty, 9-1-1 and key personnel of an emergency, the type of emergency, and it’s location on campus.


This eliminates built-in delays in notifying campus security, 9-1-1, and first responders of an emergency on campus.  When seconds matter, Rave Panic Button saves time and lives.

ravepanicbutton11111Rave Panic Button Speeds Up Emergency Response By:

  1. Immediately notifying on-site resources of an incident with a 90% improvement over traditional notification systems.
  2. Instantly engaging on-site personnel so they can initiate lockdown procedures and send help.
  3. Improve situational awareness for first responders by providing caller’s location and type of emergency.

When you consider technology to speed up emergency response on your campus, remember that your planning and SOP development should include not just officials at your institution, but also your local 9-1-1 center and first responders. These are the people and agencies you will rely on in an active shooter scenario and it’s in everyone’s best interest to be on the same page when it comes to saving lives. We’ve found that when Rave Panic Button is deployed it helps develop closer working relationships and trust among schools, local law enforcement, 9-1-1, and first responders.


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