Quality Incident Management: How The Community Judges Your Success

incident management success

Written by David Batastini and Cassie Shau from Rave Mobile Safety

 

Quality Incident Management: How The Community Judges Your Success

“Successful incident management is greatly dependent on your level of communication, so send alerts often – before, during, and after an incident – and through as many delivery technologies as you can.”

Everywhere you look, people are talking about metrics – how successful you are and how to measure that success. We’re counting how many steps we take each day, how many people share our social media posts, and how fast our GPS routes us to our destination.

Emergency management and other public safety and security organizations are also seeing metrics develop in incident management. For instance, trending in emergency call centers today is that act of analyzing 9-1-1 call data for greater insight into incident types and call patterns.

During an incident, how well you communicate is often a solid measure of how well you handle the situation. How fast you send the first message, how often you update, and how clear your message content is all become measurement opportunities. The public isn’t the only group evaluating these metrics. Good communication among your internal teams can also improve your overall success.

Effective messaging is even more important when our communities consume and share information faster. In the age of SMS messages and social media feeds, the old adage of “tell the truth and tell it first,” takes on new importance. Unless you provide authoritative information throughout an event, easily-shared false reports can spread in the gaps. These rumors confuse your community and sometimes put more people in danger.

Successful incident management is greatly dependent on your level of communication, so send alerts often – before, during, and after an incident – and through as many delivery technologies as you can. Sending messages to many destinations helps reach more people and provide your community with frequent updates. At different times of day or points during an incident, a given person might receive your message better through SMS, email, or public siren systems. By sending your message to all these modes at once, you make sure those people know what’s going on no matter which delivery type they need.

Identical messages, though, won’t work well on all the modes you can reach. A concise SMS message might warn people away from a dangerous incident, while a longer social media post shares authoritative updates with the public. Meanwhile, sirens are great for warning people but they don’t transmit instructions at all. An effective notification system lets you send tailored messages to different modes at the same time. This way, you can send each community member the warning, brief instructions, or detailed situation update they need without delaying one or the other.

Your community isn’t the only group who are measuring the quality of your incident management, either. Your internal teams rely on effective communication to resolve situations as well. During certain incidents, some delivery modes might not work at all, like if your email service goes down as part of a cyber-attack. How do you reach your employees then? Multi-modal alerting provides the resiliency you need to keep them connected and informed during any event, through whatever modes are functioning.

Unfortunately, when you don’t communicate well people sometimes think you aren’t working on the problem. If getting the word out means sending SMS alerts, then composing emails, then tweeting before posting on Facebook, there’s a better way.

Modern technology can significantly improve the efficiency of your incident management strategy. The Rave Alert emergency notification system streamlines this process, so you can create all messages at once and deliver them simultaneously. With this kind of fast, wide-reaching communication, your teams and community know the facts they need, through the devices they have, throughout each incident.

Drug Overdose Deaths Plaguing the Nation

Drug overdose deaths have more than tripled in the past 7 years with the annual record of 12,989 deaths in 2015.

 

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Written by Sierra Thumann on June 21, 2017

 

Today’s Epidemic

Despite decades of warning against the danger of drugs, more than 2 million Americans ages 12 and older suffer from opioid addiction. The addictions plaguing our nation not only exist within heroin needles but also in prescription medications written with the intention of helping, not harming.

drug overdose deaths united states

In a recent thought-provoking article written by the New York Times, Drug Deaths in America Are Rising Faster Than Ever, it is reported here that the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50 is an overdose, with the number of cases reaching over 59,000 in 2016.

According to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), opioid-related deaths have risen by 200% between the years 2000 and 2016. This translates into 91 drug overdose deaths in America, and among these cases, prescription drugs are listed as the number one cause of the addictions.

Heroin is not regulated like prescription drugs. The popular street drug can be easily laced with other substances of equal or higher risk. For instance, it is not uncommon to see Carfentanil, the drug used to sedate large animals such as elephants, being mixed in with a batch of heroin. Carfentanil is so toxic that just a few micrograms are enough to kill the average-sized human being. With such factors at play, it comes as no surprise that heroin deaths have more than tripled in the past 7 years with the annual record of 12,989 deaths occurring in 2015.

The NY Times compiled a preliminary set of data showing drug overdose deaths rising 19% over the recorded 52,404 in 2015 – hitting Maryland, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Maine the hardest. Ohio has seen a 25% increase in deaths-by-overdose since 2016. In Summit County, OH, the Chief investigator to the county’s medical examiner, Gary Guenther, stated “…that on three separate occasions the county had to request refrigerated trailers to store the bodies because they’d run out of space in the morgue,” due to drug influenced deaths.

A former opioid user, Cliff Parker, talks about his longtime battle with drug addiction in an exclusive interview with the NY Times. Parker graduated high school as a multisport athlete with a scholarship to the University of Akron. Like many others, Parker’s addiction started when he abused prescription painkillers at a party. It didn’t take long for Parker’s life to spiral as his drug abuse advanced from popping pills to needles and syringes.

It is not just the drugs that damage today’s society, but the cost of an overdose in the aftermath. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), deaths-by-overdose cost the US more than $55 billion in health and social costs and an additional $20 billion in emergency department inpatient care for survivors of opioid overdose.

 

Combating the Crisis

DRUG OVERDOSE DEATHS STATS

Some communities and states are being recognized for their efforts to take action to stop the epidemic. For example, Gloucester MA introduced its ANGEL program in 2015. The ANGEL program encourages addicts to go to local police stations to seek help for their addiction and without punishment for having drugs on their person or in their possession.

As a result, more and more communities nationwide are embracing a more reactive solution by providing easy and fast access to naloxone, commonly known by the brand name Narcan. Naloxone works as a direct antagonist to opioids. It reverses the depressive effects of opioids on the respiratory and central nervous systems quickly and effectively.

 

Leveraging Technology

The key to evading drug overdose deaths is a fast and efficient intervention. This is an area where Rave Mobile Safety’s Rave 911 Suite is helping communities combat drug overdoses by providing first responders additional data and communication tools during an emergency through the use of the Suite’s Smart911 Safety Profiles, Chat, and Notes features.

A Smart911 Safety Profile enables families to sign up and provide additional information that displays if they ever dial 9-1-1. A family member aware of a loved one’s history of drug abuse can note the addiction in their Safety Profile. This data informs emergency responders before they arrive at the scene, allowing them to provide the appropriate medical care to the individual more quickly.

Rave 911 Suite’s Chat component enables 9-1-1 dispatchers to engage in conversation with individuals through SMS text. This has proven to be an effective form of communication during incidents involving an individual needing assistance but is unable to speak verbally. This was the case for a 15-year-old overdose victim from Van Buren County, MI. On August 8, 2016, Van Buren County 9-1-1 dispatcher, Mark Graham, received a failed 9-1-1 call and used the Rave 911 Suite’s Chat feature to contact the frightened girl through SMS text. Although she wouldn’t answer the phone, the girl texted Graham her address so he could dispatch emergency assistance quickly to the correct location, ultimately saving her life.

The Notes component of Rave 911 Suite enables dispatchers to review and share with first responders, notes on a caller’s history – adding improved situational awareness to the incident. Notes can alert first responders to critical safety information such as drug and needle use to evade needle sticks and other drug related hazards.

There is no simple solution to the opioid epidemic we face today. However, modern technology can help combat the crisis. Rave Mobile Safety continues to work with communities by developing innovative solutions that better protect victims and first responders.

 

Start Today

Contact Rave Mobile Safety to learn how the Rave 911 Suite can be leveraged to protect your community by taking action against the challenges facing the opioid abuse and drug overdose deaths plaguing our nation.

CALL: 888-605-7164

EMAIL: sales@ravemobilesafety.com

SCHEDULE A DEMO: www.ravemobilesafety.com/rave-911-suite

Successful Community Alerting Through Widespread Local Engagement

community alerting

 

“Community alerting is only as effective as the number of people in your database.”

— Nick Holloway, Missoula County OEM Projects Coordinator

CLICK HERE to register for the 30-minute webinar on June 15, 2017

 

In remote areas of America, it is crucial to place emphasis on community alerting. An effective alert system requires constant encouragement to receiving communities for sign ups. This is exactly what Nick Holloway does for his community, Missoula MT.

Nick Holloway
Nick Holloway, Missoula County OEM Projects Coordinator

Holloway, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Projects Coordinator, is responsible for outreach and promoting community emergency readiness as well as public education for the Smart911 program.

Missoula County is 2,618 mi2 and has a large range in both topography and demography consisting of a city, multiple rural towns, and valleys. Because of these large ranges, there are many weather-related events such as wildfires, floods, windstorms etc, that warrants mass notification.

Individuals are not only left susceptible to the elements when they do not take part in the alert system but animals as well. Rural towns give way for farmland; should there be a disaster the animals would be negatively affected.

A Rave customer since 2012, Missoula employs Smart911, Smart Prepare, and Rave Alert to act as a barrier of protection for their community against disasters. Because of this, it is imperative that members of Missoula County are subscribed to their community alerting system.

The success of an alert depends on the number of individuals signed up to receive it. The success of an individual’s subscription to an alert system falls on the promotion of the system. Without proper engagement on the behalf of the OEM, the security system will fail in getting the word out and urgency of mass notification will be lost.

To hear more from Nick Holloway and his experiences during widespread emergencies and keeping his community engaged, reserve your spot in the Webinar this Thursday, June 15th at 3:00 EDT.

 

Rave Mobile Safety and RapidSOS Form Strategic Partnership to Deliver Device-Based Caller Location from Smartphones and other Connected Devices

Partnership delivers transformative data from connected devices to 9-1-1 centers covering more than 40 million citizens nationwide

 Location from Smartphones partnership rapidsosFRAMINGHAM, Mass., June 1, 2017 — Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), provider of critical communication and data platform solutions trusted to save lives, and RapidSOS, award-winning emergency technology start-up providing a direct data link from connected devices to 9-1-1 and responders, today announced a strategic partnership to transform the information available to responders to greatly accelerate response times and save lives. The partnership will utilize Rave’s and RapidSOS’ technology to immediately deliver precise location information and real-time connected device data from RapidSOS’ NG911 Clearinghouse directly to 9-1-1 call takers, dispatchers, and responders – improving situational awareness and speeding the response to emergency calls.

Enabled smartphones and other connected devices will be able to transmit precise location and additional caller information to the RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse when a 9-1-1 call is made. Data is provided in the background without a need for citizens to utilize a smartphone app to call 9-1-1. Through the partnership, Rave 911 Suite™ clients will immediately have access to this lifesaving information at no cost. Now, on supported devices, detailed caller location, vehicle telematics (airbag deployments, the number of occupants) and even real-time health information from wearable devices (heart rate, oxygen saturation) will be available for display automatically with a 9-1-1 call.

 Location from Smartphones partnership
(PRNewsfoto/Rave Mobile Safety)

“Having access to better location information on callers will be a game changer,” said Rob McMullen, Director Vigo County (Indiana) 911 and National Emergency Number Association (NENA) 1st Vice-President. “Relevant information is critical to an effective response. Through its partnership with RapidSOS, Rave continues to deliver capabilities that improve our ability to serve those we protect.”

“Rave is committed to providing responders the information and communication tools they need to improve emergency response,” said Tom Axbey, President and CEO of Rave Mobile Safety. “Our partnership will augment the rich data sets already available to Rave 911 Suite clients with accurate caller location data and connected device data as they become available through RapidSOS’ NG911 Clearinghouse. The information available through RapidSOS will significantly impact public safety.”

“RapidSOS and Rave Mobile Safety are collaborating to solve some of the biggest challenges in public safety today,” said Admiral (ret.) David Simpson, former Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Chief at the Federal Communications Commission. “This partnership will expand the availability of RapidSOS enhanced location data to additional 9-1-1 jurisdictions and greatly improve emergency response for those communities through the RapidSOS secured NG911 platform.”

“RapidSOS has unique partnerships to provide real-time information about users in an emergency,” said Michael Martin, CEO, RapidSOS. “Rave’s technology and customer footprint will help us rapidly accelerate the number of Public Safety agencies across the country that have real-time access to the NG911 Clearinghouse. Rave’s reputation for innovation and customer success makes them a natural strategic partner.”

The location from smartphones provided from RapidSOS is a feature of Rave 911 Suite and will be available for demonstration at NENA 2017 in San Antonio at the Rave booth, #533.

About Rave Mobile Safety
Rave Mobile Safety provides the leading critical communication and data platform trusted to help save lives. Used by leading education and healthcare institutions, enterprises and state and local public safety agencies, the award-winning Rave platform including Rave Alert™, Rave 911 Suite, Rave Panic Button™, Rave Guardian™, Rave Prepare™ and Rave Eyewitness™ protects millions of individuals. Rave Mobile Safety is headquartered in Framingham, MA. For more information, please visit https://www.ravemobilesafety.com.

About RapidSOS
RapidSOS is an advanced emergency technology company. Formed in 2012 and backed by some of the world’s leading Silicon Valley technologists, RapidSOS is partnering with consumer technology companies and the public safety community to provide transformative data in emergencies. RapidSOS is developing technology to predict and preempt emergencies before they occur, dynamically warn people in harm’s way, and link data from any connected device directly to first responders in an emergency. Learn more at www.RapidSOS.com.

3 Ways to Leverage Mobile Phones to Improve Venue and Workplace Safety

"Technology can only enhance the effectiveness of people and processes and is rarely, if ever, a solution to venue and workplace safety on its own."

As I write this, the horrific terrorist bombing at the Arianna Grande concert has just happened in Manchester, England. Unfortunately, these types of events are becoming all too common. From Paris, Munich, night clubs in Orlando and office parks in San Bernadino, the risk to soft targets across the globe is coming to the forefront of our collective conscience. The need to adopt measures aimed to improve venue and workplace safety has reached an all-time high.

Last month Rave Mobile Safety conducted a survey of safety and security officers across industries. Nearly 70 percent responded that risks in the workplace have grown in the last year, with 30 percent of the 148 respondents stating they felt the likelihood of an active shooter at their company was 50/50 or better! A 2016 Survey by Securitas of Top Security Threats Facing Fortune 1000 Companies revealed Workplace Violence and Active Shooter threats as the #2 and #3 threats facing enterprises behind cyber security. Regardless of whether you think those numbers are overly pessimistic, as an executive charged with a duty of care to your employees and patrons, what impact does the changing threat have on how you prepare and the technologies you look to implement?

First and foremost, safety is not just a technology issue. Technology can only enhance the effectiveness of people and processes and is rarely, if ever, a solution to venue and workplace safety on its own. Having said that, effective deployment of relevant technologies can have a significant impact in securing your facilities, reducing the severity of events, and shortening your recovery time. Since mobile phone usage is ubiquitous across employees and patrons, let’s look at some simple examples of how those devices can be used to help improve safety.

improve venue and workplace safety campaign
Image Courtesy Department of Homeland Security

Empowering your Constituents

For years, public safety agencies have run “See Something Say Something” campaigns. Similar proactive programs can yield significant results for corporations. From early identification of employees exhibiting behaviors indicative of pending workplace violence (or even sexual harassment) to noticing suspicious packages or entrances left unsecured – employees and guests can and should be the first early warning triggers. Rates of engagement rise significantly when people are given the ability to make anonymous reports, especially when it may be about other employee behaviors. Voicemail boxes have been replaced with smartphone apps or SMS tip solutions that allow users to submit pictures or even stream videos of emerging situations to corporate security from their mobile phones. FBI studies recommend that systems be put in place to allow victim initiated response (allowing those closest to an incident to sound the alarm) to shorten the time from incident recognition to effective action by potential victims. Some smartphone apps today will automatically broadcast situational and location relevant messages to those at risk, while also immediately connecting to emergency services.

Enhancing On-Site Communications

Effective communication during an incident is a critical component to improving venue and workplace safety. You can’t assume employees are sitting at their computers waiting for messages during an emergency. Additionally, while some safety plans may consider a mass notification system which can push messages quickly to employee mobile devices, few consider a plan for communication with a broader constituency. In a situation like a concert, the ability to rapidly commandeer the sound system may be the most effective means of mass communication to concertgoers inside the concert hall, but in office buildings or venues with remote parking lots and dispersed groups, other means should be considered. For example, Kentucky Derby organizers recently used an SMS opt-in system where Derby attendees could text a short code to be opted-in to communications about the event. Importantly, to increase the perceived value to the attendee, relevant non-emergency (e.g. traffic issues) communications can also be sent through the system. Surely, many concert goers would opt-in to receive special messages from their favorite musician over the course of a concert – often opting in to receive safety messages is not as strong a message as one that is perceived as having more immediate value.

Locating and Communicating with Travelling Employees

For many large corporations, the first step in any large scale event is assessing the impact to their remote employees. Several years back, a large earthquake hit China and global manufacturing firms struggled to identify not only what facilities may have been impacted but also what traveling employees may have been in the area and in need of assistance. Similarly, in the wake of the Paris nightclub attack and subsequent lockdown of the city, enterprises struggled to locate key resources. Again, the mobile phone provides the unique ability to message, locate, and collect real-time information from employees. Through corporate smartphone apps, employees can elect to constantly share their GPS-location with employers (supervisors, corporate security or third party security firms), or share it in an on-request basis. Corporations can push information, such as event notifications and emergency instructions, to devices based on the users’ location. Having near instantaneous visibility into the location of employees allows corporate security staff to effectively manage a response and recovery plan.

Mapping Indoor Spaces For Emergency Response

indoor mapping banner image

 

Indoor mapping: effective strategy or an unattainable frontier? 

Written by Matt Serra, Rave Sr. Director of Product Management

In my last blog, I discussed what is required for a “dispatchable location”. Dispatch-quality location implies two things: you can communicate the caller’s location in universally understood terms, and you have the information required to navigate to that place.

To navigate, we use maps. Maps are abundant, detailed, and effectively free. This data is referenced millions (billions?) of times a day to serve the world’s basic navigation purposes, whether it’s getting tourists to a restaurant or responders to an automobile accident. However, many emergencies do not happen at the intersection of two streets or the street address for a simple structure. These emergencies happen in more complicated indoor spaces, and responders probably will not find the victim in the glass atrium of a skyscraper or at the front gate of a manufacturing facility.

We’ve had ready access to street maps in one form or another for as long as emergency response has existed as a profession, and now everyone can access extraordinarily detailed maps, including everything from pedestrian paths to detailed street views that let you visit obscure locations like National Cricket Stadium in Bangladesh. How have we come so far mapping our outdoor spaces, while first responders still reference indoor floor plans in three-ring binders, or spend precious time searching for the local knowledge to find “building 4, location 3C-802”? Because the environment that allowed us to create today’s street maps is everything our indoor spaces are not:

Indoor mapping requirements

Indoor mapping is clearly not a design requirement.

There are at least 5.6 Million Buildings in the United States, encompassing 87 billion square feet. However, because of these challenges, Google claims to have indoor maps for “over 10,000 locations”… WORLDWIDE!

The commercial interest necessary to map indoor spaces does not exist; otherwise, we’d have it by now. And while public resources can help, fire marshals and building inspectors focus their finite resources on the largest or highest risk facilities. To move past this indoor mapping stalemate, we must abandon the methods used to map our outdoor spaces and instead enlist our communities. Adopting this model flips the above table on its ear:

indoor mapping challenge
Enlisting the community to provide this data will require a trusted critical data solution and a new “social contract.” The data collection platform MUST let the data provider control how their data is used, and those holding and accessing the data must honor this contract. Likewise, public safety must be able to identify the data’s source, choose which data displays to responders, and require the community keep the data up to date.

In the past two years, public safety has put much emphasis on Dispatchable Location and NEAD. This is a commendable effort, and prioritizing improvement in location accuracy over improvement in maps was the right thing to do. However, the goal of delivering a Dispatchable Location with every call won’t be met until we have corresponding mapping improvements (a fact that is not lost on the FCC).

Rave Mobile Safety Announces Cyber Security Enhancements

application security

 

Combination of product and process modifications further improve company’s security posture on the heels of industry accolades and awards

Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), provider of critical communication and data platform solutions trusted to save lives, today announced a series of product enhancements and process changes to further improve the security of its applications. The changes include a new security council augmented by industry-leading experts, implementation of leading-edge continuous monitoring solutions, increased penetration testing frequency and a series of product enhancements across the suite, including an upgrade to encryption technologies.

“We recognize the trust that our clients and users place in us,” said Rave Chief Product Officer Todd Piett. “In the effort of continuous improvement, we have proactively implemented several technology enhancements and process modifications to keep us on the best security footing possible. Security must be viewed holistically across all facets of a business, and these changes will strengthen each of those components.”

Cyber security issues continue to make headlines across the country, and the moves by Rave aim to strengthen both its defenses and those of the public safety industry. Rave’s work in obtaining Federal Security authorizations and smartphone app-related certifications with public safety groups have helped shape the program.

“In the past, we have identified vulnerabilities that impacted us and shared that information with others in the industry who we knew were also potentially exposed,” continued Piett. “A key goal of our internal security council is to formalize that ad hoc process and share learnings with industry associations and other vendors in the space. Cyber security is not a competitive differentiator; it is a baseline in which we all have a shared responsibility and interest.”

The program includes:

  •     Collaboration with industry associations and existing cybersecurity bodies to create an improved forum for anonymously sharing vulnerabilities and learnings
  •     An upgrade to the latest cryptographic technologies
  •     Implementation of a solution to conduct continuous security vulnerability testing and assessments
  •     Formalization of a dedicated cross-functional cyber security council, augmented by experts from outside the company
  •     Internal product and process enhancements to address potential vulnerabilities and weak points identified during an extensive review process
  •     Process for extending security policies and best practices to third party partners

“Rave is committed to serving our clients with the best technology possible, but cyber security is not just a technology issue,” said Tom Axbey, president and CEO of Rave. “Establishing this cross-functional council, improved by external experts, will ensure a culture of information security will continue to permeate across the organization and be core to our DNA.”

About Rave Mobile Safety

Rave Mobile Safety provides the leading critical communication and data platform trusted to help save lives. Used by leading education and healthcare institutions, enterprises and state and local public safety agencies, the award-winning Rave platform including Rave Alert™, Rave 911 Suite, Rave Panic Button™, Rave Guardian™, Rave Prepare™ and Rave Eyewitness™ protects millions of individuals. Rave Mobile Safety is headquartered in Framingham, MA. For more information, please visit https://www.ravemobilesafety.com.

The Frightening Reality of 911 System Failures

911 System Failures: Why Do They Happen

And Who’s To Blame?

911 system failures baby girl

Unfortunately, 911 system failures are becoming all too common in the news.

The latest involves a lawsuit against T-Mobile for failing to deliver 911 calls which contributed to the death of a 6-month old in Dallas. Previous outages have hit other components of the emergency communications infrastructure. From a public safety perspective, it strikes me that we often think about components and not a holistic system.

911 systems need to work 100% of the time.

We all know this is an unrealistic expectation, but it is none-the-less the expectation of the citizens served. From the perspective of the person facing an emergency, the system is not just the 911 routing network, but the originating network, the dispatch equipment, the radios, the proper handling of the call by trained personnel, and even the responders. It is truly an integrated system. We too often look at single components in a system. Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) is a critical enhancement to the 911 system, but only handles the call routing and delivery. If a citizen uses an IP-connected device and the device does not connect to the 911 network, sends a poor location, or the call quality is so poor that the call is intelligible, the system has failed. Our multi-billion dollar investment in FirstNet and NG9-1-1 would not have solved the issue in Dallas.

911 system failures dated technology
Emergency responders arrived too late to save Shanell Anderson from drowning in her SUV.

Thinking back to the tragic death of Shanell Anderson in Atlanta which was the result of flaws in 911 caller location technologies, processes and GIS mapping, we see a holistic system failure. There were a number of points over the course of the tragedy where a holistic systematic view could have provided a safety net to the failing of any single component, whether through training, better policies, or technology.

I don’t mean to infer that T-Mobile’s failure to deliver 911 calls, or the “ghost-dialing” problem in Dallas was somehow the fault of 911 system administrator. In fact, I think it is quite the opposite. As we look at expanding the types of devices that can contact 911, and the trusted systems that integrate into the emergency response process, vendors need to be held accountable. As public safety practitioners, we can identify weak links in the chain. From the FCC (who can regulate the network access components) to the FTC (who can regulate consumer claims made by vendors), oversight authorities exist to help ensure public safety. Public Safety can, and should, take a leading role in sounding the alarm to make sure those authorities are made aware of the systemic risks and not just look at our own small piece of the puzzle.

Running Towards The San Diego Mass Shooting

From Discussing the Trending Attacks on Soft Targets to Experiencing the San Diego Mass Shooting Firsthand

Before The Attack

Just a week ago, I was in Atlanta with the Rave Mobile Safety team and 130 of our customers for our annual User Summit, during which we share our product roadmap and elicit feedback and best practices from our users, with a special emphasis on how products like Rave Panic Button can assist in an active shooter situation. It was a phenomenal event and is always an annual highlight for us at Rave, as it provides us with tremendous insight as we continue our pursuit of providing critical communication and data platform trusted to help save lives.

As part of the Summit, I had the privilege of introducing and moderating a discussion with two distinguished panelists – Juliette Kayyem and Don Aviv – who focused on the increase in attacks on soft targets. Juliette and Don provided commentary on the recent trend of attacks becoming lower tech and targeting locations and events that are harder to defend. Because of these factors, attacks have been easier to plan and faster to carry out, with equally high impact as more sophisticated and coordinated ones. The session was highly engaging and the Q&A was fluid. Much of the discussion centered on the importance of effective communications and collaboration not only among traditional public safety and first response agencies but also with the private sector, as they represent a common target of recent attacks.

scene of San Diego mass shooting
The scene of the San Diego mass shooting on April 30, 2017

During The Attack

Fast forward just a few days to last weekend and I’m back at home in San Diego with my wife, Alex, getting some much-needed rest. Right around 6 pm on Sunday, Alex stepped out onto our patio to jump on the stair master and she immediately came back inside. “Noah…something’s going on outside. I hear people screaming and I think gunshots.” I headed outside and although our view is partially obstructed, I could definitely tell that something was wrong – concerned onlookers, screams and more gunshots. I told her that I was going down there to see if I could help any potential victims (for those of you who may not know, I spent many years as a paramedic and EMS administrator in Houston, NYC, and Atlanta). Of course, being a critical care physician, Alex said that she was coming too.

Even though the incident was just down the street, we headed down to the garage to grab our car where we have a small trauma kit. I also wanted the car for protection, since I wasn’t quite sure what we’d be rolling up on. I figured that we would encounter one or maybe a few shooting victims at the intersection, but that the shooter(s) would be long gone and we could get to work. We quickly realized that wasn’t the case.

As we came down the hill, we were waved back by a frantic bystander that was screaming, “Get back!! He’s shooting!” I told him that we had medical training and were there to help if we could. He seemed momentarily relieved. I also asked where the shooter was located so that we could try to keep from becoming victims ourselves (I suppose that would have been best accomplished by not leaving our apartment, but too late for that). Based on his telling me that the shooter was in the pool area, we quickly determined a relatively safe place for us to go around the corner, where he told his friends to carry the wounded. Shots were still ringing out.

Map of San Diego mass shooting
Map of the San Diego mass shooting incident details.

Exhausted, the bystanders couldn’t make it all the way up to the corner where I was yelling for them to bring the victims, so I decided to run the half block down to where they were and assess the injured. The first female had been shot in both legs, but she was conscious, and the bleeding had been well controlled by her friends. The second victim, a male, was hopping around, also with a non-life-threatening gunshot to the lower leg. The third victim was a female shot in the arm and also superficially in the chest. Although in pain, all three were alert with no immediate life threats, which was a very good sign. At around this time, a security officer in an SUV pulled up and said to load the victims into his vehicle. Along with the bystanders, I helped get them into his SUV and he whisked them off to EMS and Fire crews that were staged several blocks away.

Immediately after the security officer removed the three shooting victims that I briefly saw, the first San Diego Police Department (SDPD) patrol unit screamed towards the scene. I waved the sergeant down to be sure he knew he was headed into an active shooter incident and pointed him towards the pool, just a block away. He would be one of the three officers that confronted and ultimately killed the shooter.

At that point, with more police units arriving and not knowing how the incident would evolve, it was time for me and Alex to get out of there. We headed back to our apartment and followed the incident on Twitter, online and on TV. When all was said and done, the San Diego mass shooting on April 30, 2017, resulted in 7 people with gunshot wounds – one fatally – and a mass psychological impact on the community.  Before the shooter could take more innocent lives, he was killed by responding police officers after he pointed his gun and fired at them. (UPDATE: An additional individual suffered a broken wrist and concussion as he was fleeing the scene.)

The Aftermath

San Diego Shooting victim
35-year-old mother, Monique Clark, killed during San Diego mass shooting.

As a paramedic, I’ve taken care of many shooting victims and been involved in large and chaotic scenes, and I will say that this San Diego mass shooting ranks pretty high on the list. Here are some things that stand out to me about this incident and the subsequent response:

  • Tragedies bring strangers and communities together. Bystanders and witnesses alike not only ran for their lives, but also sprang into action to get their injured friends, and even ensure that others were kept out of harm’s way. Certainly, the security officer who helped get several of the victims to more definitive medical care played a key role in the overall response. All of these actions were taken by people with little to no formal training in responding to this type of situation, yet their instincts kicked in and they responded phenomenally well. There was also a vigil planned for the evening of May 3rd where the community came together to pay tribute to the 35-year-old woman who lost her life, Monique Clark, the injured victims still in recovery, and to denounce violence and begin the healing process.
  • The immediate response was rapid, effective and remarkably well coordinated. Real praise is due to the men and women of SDPD, San Diego Fire Rescue and Emergency Medical Services (provided by AMR). First responders arrived rapidly (actually, SDPD’s aviation unit was the first on the scene within minutes) and acted quickly and decisively to limit the number of casualties. A unified command was established and seemed to effectively coordinate the actions of all on-scene responders, following the initial response. All in all, for a dynamic incident with dozens of responders, victims scattered over several city blocks and an active shooter, things seemed to go just about as smoothly as they could have. Public safety agencies train for this sort of scenario and in this case, the response seemed flawless.
San Diego Mass Shooting Police Twitter
San Diego PD Twitter post on day of mass shooting
  • The importance of effective communication. From listening to the police radio traffic after the incident, it is apparent that public safety communications played a key role in the quick resolution of the shooting. SDPD dispatchers did an outstanding job of coordinating the initial response and providing updates to responding units. Additionally, the air unit provided critical situational awareness from the sky and directed the first arriving officers to the shooter (coincidentally, SDPD just partnered with AT&T to provide broadband internet and GPS capabilities to the aviation units so that they can be even more effective in their mission). Once the shooter was neutralized, attention shifted immediately to calling in EMS & Fire to care for the wounded. Communications to the public were also handled well and information was shared in a timely manner, thereby controlling speculation and rumor. SDPD communicated regularly through social media and held numerous press briefings to release the latest details of the incident, once they could be verified. Although not used during this incident, public safety and emergency management agencies should follow best practices for communicating through emergency notification systems during an active incident.
  • Horrific acts of violence can, unfortunately, happen anywhere and to anyone. Just as Juliette Kayyem, Don Aviv and I shared with our audience in Atlanta last week, attacks on soft targets are becoming more commonplace. While the San Diego mass shooting last week did not appear to be a planned and calculated attack as others we have recently seen, it occurred at a public gathering – a birthday party – in the pool area of an upscale apartment complex in a safe neighborhood in San Diego. This has a definite psychological impact on people that is perhaps best summed up by survivor and civilian rescuer, Demetrius Griffin, when he told media, “What I am gonna say is, this is an act of terror, not necessarily an act of terrorism.”
  • Community preparedness and engagement. We all need to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to law enforcement, get people who are experiencing mental health issues to professionals who might be able to help them, and do whatever we can to partner with our neighbors and communities to reduce the likelihood and impact of significant violence. It is also important to make a personal and family preparedness plan. If your city or county has an emergency notification system, such as Rave Alert, to provide rapid communications, then it is important that you opt-in to it so that you can be immediately informed of an imminent threat. Sign-up for San Diego’s alert system here.

My thoughts are with the family and friends of Monique Clark, the 35-year-old mother of 3 who died of her wounds, and also to the other victims who are still recovering. I also want to extend my gratitude to all of the first responders from 9-1-1 to police, fire, and EMS who handled the events on Sunday so professionally. It is comforting to the community to know that you are always there to protect us.

Rave Mobile Safety Receives Series of Prestigious Industry Awards and Accolades

safety technology innovation

Leading provider of critical communication and data solutions recognized for
its excellence in innovative lifesaving technology

 FRAMINGHAM, Mass., May 2, 2017Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), provider of critical communication and data platform solutions trusted to save lives, announced today that it has recently won four prestigious industry awards for its excellence in innovative lifesaving technology. The awards were granted from security industry experts to organizations in the public safety and corporate fields and recognize Rave’s place as a leader in the industry.

“2017 has started as another year of record growth for Rave, and we are honored that our peers have taken the time to recognize the advances we have made in our continued effort to save lives,” said Tom Axbey, President and CEO of Rave Mobile Safety. “With our commitment to providing our customers the best-in-class data and critical communications platform, this recognition is encouraging as we continue to look ahead to advances in our technology.”

Leaders in the security field and members of industry non-profit organizations selected Rave as finalists for awards recognizing innovative mobile applications and projects. These awards include:

Rave Panic Button, the industry leading panic button mobile application, was recognized as the Gold winner of the “Mobile Apps” category by an independent panel of judges from the security industry. The award recognizes outstanding government security products in a variety of categories.

The Rave Panic Button Pilot Program Team consisting of Rave Mobile Safety and SNOPAC 911 received honorable mention for its technical innovation by the Integrated Justice Information Systems (IJIS) Institute. The award recognizes technical innovation that has contributed significantly to the advancement of integration and interoperability in a public safety project.

The Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) selected Rave Mobile Safety’s platform as a finalist for its International Awards of Excellence in the Products/Service Provider category. The award recognizes organizations who achieved a level of excellence for corporations utilizing its technology.

The Edison Awards selected Rave as a Bronze award winner of its international award to honor excellence in new product and service development by members of their Steering Committee and Nominations Review Committee. The award recognizes Rave Facility for its excellence in new product and service development, marketing, human-centered design, and innovation.

This recognition comes after Rave’s acknowledgment as Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technologies through the award of both SAFETY Act Designation® and SAFETY Act Certification® by U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the Rave Alert, Smart911 (the Rave 911 Suite) and Rave Panic Button products.

Nationwide 911 Outage and The Effective Use of Emergency Notification Systems

During the evening of Wednesday, March 8, 9-1-1 centers across the country began reporting a 911 outage with AT&T callers trying to call for emergency service.  Based on our own data representing nearly 20% of the nations calls, across a diverse geographic area, the impact of the outage can be seen in the chart below.  While the issue is being investigated, I thought I’d share a couple quick lessons learned on using social media and emergency notification / mass notification services to proactively communicate with your population.

ATT 911 Calls

Many PSAPs and local government officials took the initiative to tweet about the outage and share their direct dial 10-digit number.

DC notifies citizens of 911 outage

Here are couple quick lessons learned for public safety agencies:

  • Make sure your social media communications clearly describe the region for which any 10-digit number is appropriate.  Social sharing knows no geographic bounds and you can quickly find yourself answering calls from calls across the country if your message isn’t clear
  • Consider using your emergency notification system to message your impacted population.  Not only is this an effective way to get the message out via social media, text message, voice calls and other modes, it also ends up being a great way to advertise and get citizens to opt-in to the service.  Your message should include a prompt to share awareness of both the 911 communications issues as well as the emergency notification service.

Our national emergency number system is robust and outages are rare; however, when a 911 outage or issue arises it is best to be prepared.  Rapid and effective outbound communication can help reduce the negative impact of an outage.

Mutualink and Rave Mobile Safety Announce Joint Technology Deployment

Mutualink and Rave Mobile Safety Announce Joint Technology Deployment for Improved Security in Warwick Public Schools

Solution Will Save Lives through Enhanced Collaboration with Police Department, Fire Department and Kent Hospital

Wallingford, CT and Framingham, MA – March 9, 2017 – Mutualink and Rave Mobile Safety today announced that Warwick Public Schools enabled faster real-time communication and information sharing with first responders through the installation of their joint solution. The deployment represents the first district-wide implementation of the solution combining Mutualink’s multimedia interoperable communications platform with Rave Mobile Safety’s Rave Panic Button.

Under the leadership of Mark Hatten, Chief Executive Officer, Mutualink, and Tom Axbey, president and CEO of Rave Mobile Safety, the two companies leveraged their experience in emergency communications and public safety to create a safer school environment.

“With the Rave Panic Button, Warwick’s teachers and first responders are in closer contact,” said Mayor Scott Avedisian, Warwick. “Rave Mobile Safety integrating with Mutualink improves the safety of our community by reducing the time to incident resolution. When first responders have voice, video and data information before arriving on site, the outcome is better for all concerned.”

Rave Panic Button activates Mutualink’s multimedia communication platform with the push of a button, while instantly dialing 9-1-1 and notifying stakeholders on the campus. All Warwick Public School teachers and staff will have this powerful tool at their fingertips.

“This is an innovative collaboration tool that spans the entire community. Our schools benefit from the experience our first responders have on the platform,” said Philip Thornton, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools in Warwick. “Our goal is to connect with law enforcement more quickly, creating better situational awareness before they even reach the school. We’re also seeing a better way to work between schools.”

Joining Forces to Protect Warwick Public Schools

Mutualink and Rave Mobile Safety rolled out their integrated solution following a presentation to the Warwick School Committee and subsequent contract award. After a quick implementation process, responders and administrators conducted thorough training and scenario planning over several months. Warwick Police Department, Warwick Fire Department, Kent Hospital and the Warwick Mall were early adopters of Mutualink’s collaboration solution and have used the platform for emergencies and training for 4 years.

“Rave Mobile Safety’s industry leading panic button app drastically reduces response times,” said Mark Hatten, CEO, Mutualink. “By collaborating with Rave Mobile Safety, we are leveraging their extensive public safety experience by providing an all-in-one technology solution that improves safety for schools and other critical infrastructure.”

Additionally, Rave Mobile Safety is better protecting teachers and staff by instantly calling 9-1-1 while opening a collaboration session between school staff and the police.

“Over the last ten years, Mutualink has enabled schools to have secure and rapid communications with law enforcement,” said Tom Axbey, president and CEO of Rave Mobile Safety. “This joint solution protects students, faculty, and staff through better communication and collaboration.”

About Mutualink

Mutualink, Inc. has developed an interoperable communications platform that enables community-wide multimedia sharing of radio, voice, text, video, data files and telephone communications in a secure environment. Mutualink’s system is currently deployed by hundreds of public and private entities worldwide, including homeland security and defense installations, NATO Special Operations Forces, police and fire departments, transit authorities, hospitals, schools, universities, shopping malls, casinos, and more. Mutualink’s technology is on the “Approved Products List” for both the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Defense. Mutualink is a privately-held company headquartered in Wallingford, Conn., with R&D facilities in Westford, Mass., Allen, Texas and Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and Defense Services office near Washington, DC. For more information please visit www.mutualink.net.

Rave Mobile Safety logo
Mutualink - school safety

Community Policing and the Growing Impact of Modern Technology

Community Policing Modern Technology

How Law Enforcement Agencies Are Leveraging Technology To Develop and Support Community Policing

Even before community policing became a common term in law enforcement circles, our clients were driving Rave down the path of creating solutions that foster improved communications and sharing of information with the populations they serve. From mass notification solutions to anonymous crime tips, to scale-able vulnerable needs registries, Rave was nudged down the path of helping enable community policing before we knew what it was.

While many of the concepts of community policing have been tested in projects across the country for years, the concept of community policing began to really take shape and gain momentum following a series of high profile events involving police and citizens across the United States over the past few years. Gallup conducted a poll in the summer of 2015 to measure public confidence in the police:

  • 48% of respondents had “some,” “very little,” or “no,” confidence
  • 25% of respondents had “quite a lot” of confidence

The lack of confidence was even more pronounced in the African American and Hispanic communities. This white paper titled Bridging the Gap: 21st Century Community Policing, details some innovative policing programs from around the country and the fantastic results they have achieved.

We have also seen some really powerful uses of our technology in improving the engagement between the law enforcement community and the broader community they serve. Here are a few examples:

  • An anonymous tip from a concerned roommate, submitted through Rave Eyewitness enabled police to confiscate a firearm before the student was able to use it, averting a potential active shooter incident.
  • Atlanta area community police units use registration with Smart911 as a way to engage with vulnerable needs populations.
  • Communities such as Purdue University are instantly alerted to emergency events such as active shooter incidents, reducing the impact of such events

Read more examples of how Rave’s suite helps speed responses and improve community engagement on our stories page.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Certifies Rave Mobile Safety

Anti-Terrorism Technologies SAFETY Act

Key Components of the Rave Platform are now on the DHS SAFETY Act’s “Approved List” of Anti-Terrorism Technologies

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., February 14, 2017 – Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), provider of critical communication and data platform solutions trusted to save lives, today announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has formally recognized Rave Alert, Smart911 (the Rave 911 Suite) and Rave Panic Button as Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technologies through the award of both SAFETY Act Designation ® and SAFETY Act Certification ®. Through this award, key components of the Rave Platform are now on the DHS SAFETY Act’s “Approved Technologies” list.

The SAFETY (Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technology) Act enhances national security by providing additional liability protection to manufacturers of anti-terrorism technologies meeting the stringent requirements of SAFETY Act Designation ® and SAFETY Act Certification ®. This recognition is further evidence of the effectiveness of the Rave platform, and the high-performing organization committed to the development and support of Rave’s lifesaving critical communications and data management platform.

“Evaluation for the SAFETY Act Certification and Designation required rigorous analysis and evaluation, which makes us honored and proud to be designated with such an important accreditation,” said Tom Axbey, president and CEO of Rave Mobile Safety. “We see this as another step forward for our customers as they can feel even more secure and trusted by community partners knowing that they can utilize our solutions without fearing legal liability if the technology is ever compromised following a terrorist act.”

The combination of Rave Alert, Rave 911 Suite and Rave Panic Button offers a comprehensive suite of solutions which provides a best-in-class, mass notification and emergency communications system. Customized for military, government, healthcare, higher education and commercial organizations, last year the organization delivered more than 400 million emergency notifications and processed more than 25 million 9-1-1 calls.

School Safety Technology: Rave Panic Button and Rand Corporation Research

Technology report highlighting school violence and how modern technology can help

school safety technology active shooter

The Rand Corporation’s 2016 report, “Can Technology Make Schools Safer”, is in-line with the research gathered from speaking with dozens of school safety experts and emergency responders while developing Rave Panic Button.

The Rand report highlights the nature of school safety threats, including but not limited to Active Shooters, and then documents the results of a prioritization exercise taken by leading experts to identify the school safety technology needs for improving overall safety.  The results also align with other school safety studies undertaken by the FBI and NYPD, and emphasize two key technologies:

  • Teachers, administrators and emergency responders need to be able to engage in direct two-way communication during a crisis rather than having to report emergencies to the school’s main office and then have the office serve as the sole conduit for communication with emergency responders. This is often referred to as “victim initiated response” and is a key tenant of Rave Panic Button.
  • Staff members need easier and faster access to information, possibly through all-in-one school safety technology applications, in order to prevent, reduce, and respond to the entire spectrum of school violence. The sharing of this information with responders is also often highlighted as a key gap in communication and interoperability – both between school officials and responders and across responder agencies.  Rave Facility is designed to facilitate the easy, scale-able collection of critical data and enable sharing of that information across authorized users.

If you want to learn more about how Rave Panic Button helps improve communication and cuts response times, check out this school safety case study which highlights the use and deployment of the solution to over 200,000 students, teachers and staff in New York.  This solution is also integrated into remote door lock and video surveillance systems provided by Intralogic Solutions.

Severe Weather Notification Best Practice Tips

Severe Weather Notification: leveraging your emergency notification system to lessen the impact and keep your people informed

Written by Todd Piett on February 9, 2017

 

Severe Weather Notification

As I sit here in the midst of the latest Nor’easter to hit the Boston area I’m tracking interesting uses of our mass notification system to manage the preparation and response and sending of a severe weather notification across the country.  Below are couple quick observations of practices in use by clients that can help you better leverage your emergency notification system and weather the storm.

mass Severe weather notificationAutomated Severe Weather Notification

While the storm hitting the east coast right now was anticipated and surprised no one, severe weather can happen quickly.  Many of our clients configure automated notifications to be sent to select administrators as conditions arise.  Tornado watches and warnings are a great example.  As notices are published by the national weather services for a given area, those who are responsible for making the broader community aware of threats are automatically notified.  Many times, weather watches (or “preparatory” messages) may also be automatically posted to social media channels.  As the severity and likelihood of impact increase, many organizations choose to set that those alerts are automatically sent to the broader community.

Carefully Plan Communications Before the Incident

There are a couple of interesting observations here.  First, thinking in advance about the various scenarios and phases of a severe weather event will help you identify the right messages, audiences, and modes of individual or mass communication.

Prevent Messaging Fatigue

If you are a university and different parts of the campus are susceptible to power outages you may want to consider who would need to be notified in each of those areas.  Messaging fatigue for recipients is a real concern.  You don’t want to be sending non-relevant messages about a power out in a dorm to commuter students.

Define Severe Weather Notification “User Groups”

Additionally, the details communicated back and forth between staff and facilities maintenance are not appropriate even for those living in the building.  Targeting to that level means you need to have attributes that let you define the different user groups as you need to target them. Increasingly the workflows around what should be communicated to whom and when are contained in incident management systems such as WebEOC from Intermedix (a Rave partner).  From pre-event preparation messages through post incident clean up, these systems help track and coordinate resources.

Rave Mobile Safety Bolsters Life Saving Footprint in 2016

 Rave announces key milestones in the last year that enabled customers to use its revolutionary safety technology to prepare better, act faster & save lives.

February 1, 2017 – Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), the provider of critical communication and data platform solutions trusted to save lives, today announced several 2016 key milestones that enabled customers to prepare better, act faster and save lives. Highlights include, record customer growth, continued industry leading customer retention rates and key strategic partner announcements, and most importantly, lives positively impacted.

“In a year with growing threats and increased violence, our customers leveraged Rave’s platform to enhance preparedness and protection,” said Tom Axbey, president and CEO of Rave Mobile Safety. “It’s more important than ever for organizations to have the technology and plans in place should an emergency occur. Rave is continually innovating to help prevent emergencies and we expect to bring even more lifesaving results in 2017 for the institutions using our solutions.”

Record Client Growth

For the 21st consecutive quarter, Rave achieved record growth with hundreds of new customers representing more than 1,000 unique deployments across state & local agencies, corporations, critical infrastructure, K-12 districts and higher education.

Furthermore, Rave continued to expand its diverse client roster. For example, Nassau County, New York expanded on its relationship with Rave by electing to deploy Rave Panic Button as a key part of its safety and response infrastructure for protecting all of the county’s schools and critical infrastructure. Additionally, following successful deployments in dozens of 9-1-1 centers, Michigan made Smart911 available to every 9-1-1 center across the Great Lakes State.

Among hundreds of others, new and expanded relationships also include Licking County, OH, Boone County, MO, Montgomery County, PA, Erlanger Health System, University of Alabama, and Santa Fe College.

Supporting this growth, Rave delivered more than 400 million emergency notifications. Additionally, the organization processed more than 25 million 9-1-1 calls enabling emergency responders to rapidly locate callers to save victims encountering medical emergencies, home invasions, and incidents of domestic violence.

Strategic Partner Growth

Rave’s market growth and footprint was highlighted by new strategic partnerships with Intermedix, a global leader in cloud-based emergency management solutions, Mutualink, a leader in worldwide interoperability solutions for public safety and Intralogic Solutions, a provider of security technologies. Each partnership resulted in deep integrations, driven by customer demands and significant client traction and success.

Product Innovation

During 2016, Rave continued to expand upon its lead in providing innovative public safety technology. From Rave Command View which enhances situational awareness and provides a common operating picture shared between 9-1-1 and responding agencies, to Rave Analytics which enables 9-1-1 centers to analyze call patterns to improve staffing and other operational decisions.

In recognition of continued innovation, Rave garnered four new patents in 2016 covering mobile smartphone safety apps, delivering data to 9-1-1 and enhancing emergency communications.

Additionally, Rave’s products were touted by third parties as among some of the best safety and security applications in the world. Highlights include:

  • Government Security News (GSN) Homeland Security Awards, “Best Lockdown and 9-1-1 Notification in Active Shooter Situations” for Rave Panic Button
  • Campus Technology 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards, “Gold Award” for Rave Alert
  • Business Intelligence Group, “Big Innovation Award” for Smart911
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security SAFETY Act’s “Approved Technologies List”

Saving Lives

From helping facilitate a rapid and effective response to active assailants and shooters at colleges and universities, ensuring faster and informed aid to heart attack victims or enabling proactive reporting and engagement of employees on work place violence or human resources issues, Rave was involved in assisting agencies to respond to everything from large scale disasters to individual incidents and assisted in saving countless lives throughout 2016. Examples of how Rave’s revolutionary safety technology impacts public safety can be can be found on the recently updated website.

Kentucky State Police Support New Alert System to Notify Residents During Emergencies

Residents Encouraged to Sign Up for the Free Service and Stay Informed of Potentially Hazardous Situations

Date of News Release: 1/06/2017

Campbellsburg, KY (January 6, 2017) – Public safety officials in the counties of Henry, Owen, and Trimble (HOT) are excited to announce that H.O.T. Alert, a service of Smart911, is now available to all residents. H.O.T. Alert is a free service that allows individuals to sign up for notifications sent from state and local authorities. H.O.T. Alert keeps residents and travelers informed of potentially hazardous situations involving weather, traffic, and other emergencies.

“This new H.O.T. Alert system enables us to notify the community in real time,’ said Rebecca Mills, Communications Supervisor for Kentucky State Police Campbellsburg. “This service allows for critical communication with the public and provides individuals with the information needed to stay safe or take precautions during emergencies”

H.O.T. Alert, a service of Smart911, enables residents and travelers to Henry, Owen, and Trimble Counties to sign up for free at www.HOTalerts.org to receive timely and actionable emergency alerts via email, text, or voice messages on their cell phones and landlines. Residents can also identify when and how they are alerted and communicated with before, during, and after emergencies.

“Residents may have signed up for our pervious alert system, Code Red. A few months ago the 911 board for Henry, Owen and Trimble Counties made the decision to replace our old service with HOT Alerts. The number one reason we switched systems was cost. The new system is more cost effective and more user friendly. I would like to stress to all residents that you have to sign up for the new system. Especially if you’ve changed numbers or no longer have a landline.” said Rebecca Mills.

Citizens of these Counties are encouraged to sign up for H.O.T. Alert and input their information and notification preferences today on the secure Smart911 online system. Their information will immediately be available to 9-1-1 for use in sending them emergency notifications. H.O.T. Alert is private, secure, and is only used for emergency situations to inform the community.

For more information or assistance with signing up in Owen or Trimble Counties please contact your local County Judge Executive’s Office. Henry County residents please contact 1-502-465-3052. Don’t forget to visit www.HOTalerts.org

Action Ambulance Offers Smart911 Service to Over 1 Million Residents in Greater Boston Area

Residents in Ipswich, Stoneham, Wakefield, and Winthrop are Encouraged to Sign Up For the Free Service That Provides Emergency Responders With More Information to Save Time and Save Lives

WILMINGTON, Mass., – Action Ambulance, a leader in Emergency Medical Services for over 30 years, announced today that they their medical secondary PSAP [Public Safety Answering Point] will support Smart911 on all 9-1-1 calls that require a medical response.  Smart911 is a free service that allows individuals to create a Safety Profile for their household that can include any information they may want 9-1-1 call takers and first responders to have in the event of an emergency, then if they need to dial 9-1-1 their Safety Profile will immediately display on the call taker’s screen saving critical seconds and even minutes in response to the emergency.

Smart911saves critical time in an emergency and has proven to save lives nationwide.  The additional information provided in a Smart911 Safety Profile enables us to know exactly where we are going and what medical assistance is necessary, those details can help us respond faster and more efficiently.

Smart911 allows citizens to create a Safety Profile at www.smart911.com for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 and response teams to have in the event of an emergency. When a citizen makes an emergency call, their Safety Profile is automatically displayed to the 9-1-1 call taker, allowing them to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information. Additionally, individuals can opt-in to receive notifications about emergencies or critical situations and receive alerts regarding necessary actions, such as evacuation and shelter-in-place.

In an emergency medical situation, callers are panicked and cannot always relay important information.  Often it is the worst day of their lives. With Smart911, the additional information can speak for them and help us help them faster.

With Smart911, citizens can link both home and work addresses to mobile phones, which can be passed on to responders in the field for more a detailed, rapid response.  Additional information including pets in the home, vehicle details in the event of an accident, and even emergency contacts can all be included in a Safety Profile.  All information is optional and the citizen has the ability to choose what details they would like to include.

Smart911 is currently available in 40 states and more than 1,500 municipalities across the country, and has been credited with positively impacting emergency outcomes including a missing child in which the girls photo and physical description were immediately available to 9-1-1 and responders, as well as a heart attack victim where an address and medical notes allowed responders to be dispatched to his location quickly.

Citizens are encouraged to create their Safety Profile with Smart911 today to have their information immediately available to 9-1-1 and to receive emergency notifications. Smart911 is private and secure, is only used for emergency responses, and only made available to the 9-1-1 system in the event of an emergency call.

Rave Panic Button and Non-Active Shooter Emergencies

Over the past year, Rave Panic Button has been activated over 5,000 times across the country. While we have some amazing documented stories of helping responders avert potential active assailant incidents (view a news clip about one incident here), the reality is that most incidents are far more mundane. Every day schools have medical emergencies which require EMS response. Every day administrators and teachers communicate internally using our “Staff Assist” function when there are minor issues requiring rapid communication and coordination (my personal favorite is the parent irate over their child’s report card).

The fact that Rave Panic Button is used far more often for non-assailant type emergencies should not be a surprise. So then why mention it? The truth is that we have to plan for the horrific possibility of an active shooter. Our processes and emergency technologies need to support a rapid response (see more about how Rave Panic Button works here). However, during the “fight or flight” moment when the unthinkable happens, your staff will be far better prepared when the solution they are to use is part of their muscle memory, something that they are used to using in day to day activities. The lesson learned from our thousands of activations is that the more a part of the daily work flow of your users, the more likely it will be used when it’s most needed.

Revolutionizing Emergency Response and Communication Technology

Critical Enhancements in Emergency Technology

2016 brought great growth and product development here at Rave Mobile Safety. We are proud to have worked with our customers and partners to bring enhancements and innovation to the products we develop trusted to save lives.

Scroll down to view the latest enhancements and features available in the Rave Data and Critical Communication Platform.


February:

Storm-Based Weather Alerting

Rave Alert customers can now leverage the National Weather Service (NWS) Storm-Based Warnings. If your domain includes Smart911 citizen opt-in or loaded landline data, you can also configure Rave Alert to automatically notify residents whose addresses fall within National Weather Service Storm-Based Warnings.


April:

Alert to Guardian

Emergency Notification and Campus Safety App
(Image: The integration of Rave’s Emergency Notification System and Campus Safety App)

April saw the integration between Rave Alert and Rave Guardian. Customers with Rave Guardian can now send targeted alerts directly to app users.

Additionally, improved session management in Rave Alert  means authors are warned when a session will soon expire, with the option to extend the session.


May:

Alert Tagging

In May, we released Alert Tagging, which lets you put custom searchable labels on alerts and reports. You can now enter tags in the new tag field in an alert template or an alert report to group multiple alerts and make reporting easier.


July:

Improved User and List Management

This release introduced new administrative permissions to help delegate user and list management more easily. Now you can set administrators scope, which controls the pool of users that administrators can access in the system – whether for sending alerts, building lists, or managing user information.


October:

Chat Notifications

In October, Rave 911 Suite Chat Smartlets saw improved notification behavior. It now shows  counts of unread messages and clearly indicates which tickets have unread messages. The Chat Smartlet also shows information on success or failure of an SMS chat send.


November:

HTML Emails

As of November, Rave Alert can now format email alerts with html tools to emphasize or clarify message content. You can apply text and paragraph formatting, insert images, and paste from other sources like Microsoft Word or the web. You can pre-save html content in email profiles for quick use when configuring alerts.


Looking forward to 2017

We’re looking forward advancing into 2017 as we continue to expand our product features and connect millions of people to those trusted to protect them. Thank you to all who helped make 2016 a successful year. We look forward to what 2017 will bring!

911 “On Steroids” Hits Ipswich

22nd December 2016

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IPSWICH — You can sit at home fiddling around with Instagram on your cell phone.

You can take a picture of your cat, apply a filter (because you’re artistic), upload the picture, and Instagram can pinpoint and tell the world your street address.

But if you stood up, tripped over the cat, and broke your leg, would the 911 dispatcher be as knowledgeable about your location when you call for help from that same phone?

The answer is no.

Unlike a landline, which gives 911 your address, cell phone calls don’t provide location information.

With 70 percent of emergency requests now coming from cell phones, that is just one part of an information gap the Ipswich Police Department wants to close.

Police have done this by pairing first responders with the opt-in Smart911 system.

Making the announcement, Police Chief Paul A. Nikas said Smart911 is free and now available to all Ipswich residents and visitors.

The system allows people to sign up online to provide vital information that 911 call-takers can tap during an emergency.

And Smart911 can get in touch with you, too.

Ipswich residents and visitors — if they sign up — can receive emergency notifications by registering for alerts at smart911.com.

ipswich alcohol compliance checks for business
Chief Paul Nikas (via LinkedIn)

Those alerts can come to your phone or email address.

The platform provides valuable new tools, and the information listed in safety profiles enables a faster, more informed response, Nikas said.

“These Smart911 safety profiles can save critical time in an emergency,” said Lt. Jonathan Hubbard, Ipswich Emergency Management Director.

“The additional information provided in a Smart911 safety profile enables us to know exactly where we are going and who we are looking for.”

On the Smart911.com website, people create a safety profile for their entire household that includes any information they want 911 and first responders to have in the event of an emergency. This can include such information as preexisting medical conditions, allergies, or pets in the home.

Other information people can store includes access codes for apartment buildings. People can even upload floor plans or photos.

If you have a cell phone only, you can provide home, work, or other addresses.

When a citizen dials 911, their safety profile is automatically displayed to the 911 call taker, allowing them to send the appropriate responders to the correct location with accurate information.

“During the holidays, with family and loved ones traveling back and forth, it’s important to be prepared in the event of an emergency,” Hubbard said.

“Creating these safety profiles is a great way to ensure that you and your families are better prepared for an emergency this holiday season.”

Smart911 is currently available in 40 states and more than 1,500 municipalities across the country. It has been credited with positively impacting emergency outcomes.

Nikas encouraged Ipswich residents and visitors to sign up for both alerts and a safety profile at smart911.com to receive emergency notifications and be better prepared in an emergency.

Police said alerts and safety profiles by Smart911 are private and secure and are only used for emergency incidents or responses.

Data provided is only made available to the 911 system in the event of an emergency call or a situation that warrants an emergency notification.

Article originally posted on The Local News

To Those Who Sacrifice Their Holiday for Others, Thank You

The holiday season is upon us and while many will enjoy time off and time spent with loved ones, there are those who have to work. For those who sacrifice their holidays to serve and save lives, we here at Rave Mobile Safety want to say thank you. We cannot overlook the immeasurable sacrifice of all the emergency responders and workers who help those in emergency situations over the holidays.

Thank you 9-1-1

The first first responders, dispatchers and 9-1-1 call takers, sacrifice their time and holiday’s to help people through what are often the worst experiences of their lives. Guiding people through emergencies and knowing what help to send and where to send it, these men and women work tirelessly to help those in need.  The holiday season often brings a rise in domestic situations and 9-1-1 dispatchers are assisting in these situations with those involved and simultaneously communicating with first responders being sent into these emergencies.

Thank you EMS
EMS workers walk into situations where medical attention is immediately needed and have very little information about the victim. They provide medical assistance outside of hospitals, often times working while transporting people.  Many EMS workers have shared that the hardest part of responding to these medical emergencies is when the situation hits close to home and working during the holidays can provide annual reminders of the hardest part of these men and women’s jobs.

Thank you Firefighters

The risk of home fires increases during the holiday season due to Christmas trees, candles, decorations, and frayed wires from old lights. Due to the nature of Christmas tree fires the likelihood of fatalities is five times higher than other house fires.  These firefighters give up their holidays at home to save the lives and homes of others.

Thank you Police

Conflicts arise around the holidays and stress levels soar resulting in police officers continually responding to calls of domestic disturbances. Every day these men and women in blue respond to some of the hardest and most violent moments of another person’s life, all to serve and protect. They give up the possible peace of their own homes to step into the chaos of someone else’s.

Working in emergency response comes with many burdens and annual reminders of some of these workers worst days. Thank you to all emergency workers who sacrifice time with their families and memories to help others and save lives.  Thank you and happy holiday’s from all of us here at Rave.

SERESA Offers Smart911 Services in Michigan

The Cities of Eastpointe, Roseville, and St. Clair Shores:

Public safety officseresa-logoials in the Cities of Eastpointe, Roseville, and St. Clair Shores announced today that Smart911 is now available to all individuals within the three cities. Smart911 is a free service available across the Country, which allows individuals and families to sign up online to provide key information to 9-1-1 call takers during an emergency.

Eastpointe City Manager and current SERESA Chairman Steve Duchane stated, “SERESA, as our tri-city collaborative, was quick to partner with Smart911.com as it represents the key objective, efficient effective service for our community of over 124,000 residents”

“Smart911 saves critical time in an emergency and has proven to save lives nationwide,” said SERESA Board member and Roseville Fire Chief Mike Holland, “The additional information provided in a Smart911 Safety Profile enables us to know exactly where we are going and who we are looking for in a house fire or at the scene of a vehicle accident, those details can help us respond faster and more efficiently.”

Smart911 allows citizens to create a Safety Profile at www.smart911.com for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 and response teams to have in the event of an emergency. When a citizen makes an emergency call, their Safety Profile is automatically displayed to the 9-1-1 call taker, allowing them to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information.

“Citizens that create a Safety Profile will be better prepared in all towns and county’s across the country that support Smat911,” stated Eastpointe Public Safety Director John McNeilance “The Safety Profile travels with you and the additional information provided allows us to send the right response teams faster.”

With Smart911, citizens can link both home and work addresses to mobile phones, which can be passed on to responders in the field for more a detailed, rapid response. Additional information including pets in the home, vehicle details in the event of an accident, and even emergency contacts can all be included in a Safety Profile. All information is optional and the citizen has the ability to choose what details they would like to include.

“The benefits of this information on a 9-1-1 call from a cell phone are immeasurable”, said SERESA Executive Director, Cherie Bartram, “Mobile phones do not provide an address to the 9-1-1 call taker. These emergency situations are often the worse of a person’s life and the Safety Profile can speak for you when you might be unable.”

Smart911 is currently available in 40 states and more than 1,500 municipalities across the country, and has been credited with positively impacting emergency outcomes including a missing child in which the girls photo and physical description were immediately available to 9-1-1 and responders, as well as a heart attack victim where an address and medical notes allowed responders to be dispatched to his location quickly.

Citizens are encouraged to create their Safety Profile with Smart911 today to have their information immediately available to 9-1-1 and to receive emergency notifications. Smart911 is private and secure, is only used for emergency responses, and only made available to the 9-1-1 system in the event of an emergency call.

For Additional Information Contact:

SERESA Executive Director Cherie Bartram cbartram@seresa.org

586-777-6700

https://www.smart911.com/

Rave Mobile Safety Honored as Gold Winner in 2016 Campus Technology Readers’ Choice Awards

campus-technologyRave Mobile Safety (Rave), a trusted partner for safety software protecting millions of individuals, was presented with a Gold Award in the second annual Campus Technology 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards. Rave was recognized for its Rave Alert solution, a campus safety emergency notification system trusted by more than 1,400 higher education institutions. Among two dozen choices for emergency notification services, readers recognized Rave Alert as award winning for its templates, multi-modal capabilities and integration of additional safety features.

The Campus Technology Readers’ Choice Awards recognizes outstanding contributions to education, from classroom instruction to IT systems and support. Education technology professionals voted for the software, hardware and services they consider most vital to the mission and business of higher education.

“Campus safety is a major undertaking for higher education institutions, and we’re constantly innovating to deliver product enhancements to our customers,” said Tom Axbey, chief executive officer at Rave Mobile Safety. “We’re honored to be selected for this year’s Gold Award and cocampustech_awardngratulate all the winners in this year’s competition.”

Rave Alert provides best-in-class, highly available emergency communications for enterprises, school districts, institutions and municipalities. Rave’s technology and products are used every day at more than 1,400 campuses, protecting more than 40 percent of the U.S. higher education population.

Campus Technology, published by 1105 Public Sector Media Group, announced the winners of the second annual Readers’ Choice Awards earlier this month, honoring the most-used and best-loved tech tools for colleges and universities. The awards provide a comprehensive view of the top products and brands that impact higher education today, honoring the best in learning management and e-learning, e-portfolios, student information systems, enterprise resource planning, network management, mobile device management and emergency notification services.

Further details about the Campus Technology Readers’ Choice Awards and its winners are available at http://www.CampusTechnology.com/ReadersChoice.