Arkansas schools training for new 'Panic Button' app to call 911

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LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Arkansas teachers, administrators and staff will soon be connecting to 911 using a smart app called the Rave Panic Button, which is expected to serve more than 1,000 public schools.

This app supposedly cuts emergency response time by three seconds and will give detailed information to 911 dispatchers

While the first year's costs have been covered by the Arkansas Department of Education where the money will come to fund this for a second year is a question left unanswered tonight.

The Rave Panic Button is part of the school safety act passed this year requiring all schools to use the panic button if funding is available.

“As a parent myself of three young boys, it makes me feel really good that our schools are safe and we've got technology like this that can help make our school environment more safe,” said Benton School District Superintendent, Jeff Collum.

The cost is $950K a year and includes a one-time $100K set up fee, after it will cost $850K, however, come next year funding has yet to be guaranteed.

“We're hoping to add that to an appropriation for the schools to tag on to the school funding for next year, we'll just have to see…that's one of our plans...if not, we'll work with who we have to … to get money just like we did this year,” said Representative Bruce Cozart (R-24).

The Rave Panic Button, created by Rave Mobile Safety who also created our state's Smart 9-1-1 system used by emergency agencies, gives options for users for fires and medical emergencies.

On Tuesday, the company's lobbyist Ted Mullinex along with sponsors of the bill introduced the app hoping to improve school safety.

“The time that can be associated with responding can be critical in saving lives, so it's a valuable tool to know we have a united team, a united front,” said Bennie Bowers, Pulaski County Special School District Director of Safety and Security.

The original deadline for all schools to be equipped with this panic button was September 1, however, lawmakers said they'll extend it since training and installing started later than planned.

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