COLUMBIA — State employees, lawmakers and others who work at the State House soon will be alerted to emergencies via text messages and emails.
The alert system will send emergency notifications to work emails and cell phones, and also have a social media component, said Budget and Control Board spokesman Brian Gaines.
The initial, one-time installation cost for the system is $900, Gaines said. In addition, there is an annual cost of $1 per user, meaning the system will cost about $4,000 a year to operate for the roughly 4,000 users of the Capitol complex, Gaines said.
That complex includes the State House, and the Rembert Dennis, Solomon Blatt, Marion Gressette, Edgar Brown, Wade Hampton and John C. Calhoun buildings as well as the McEachern Parking Facility and nearby state Supreme Court.
The vendor is Rave Mobile Security, which also provides the CarolinaAlert system at the University of South Carolina.
“(T)he ability for the two systems to be inter-operable is a top priority,” Gaines said in an email. “This system ... will provide the Capitol complex’s security agencies the ability to integrate its system with the university’s system.”
That integration will include key administrators at both institutions in both alert systems, Gaines said.
State Senate Clerk Jeff Gossett said an alert system would have been useful for State House-area workers during a February shooting incident at USC.
That shooting — a murder-suicide — was about a block away from the Blatt Building.
“It would have been nice to have a system where we could let people know to stay inside in case somebody was running around the city,” Gossett said.