New Technology Provides First Responders with Instant Access to School Communications Equipment to Reduce Wait Times during an Emergency
Governor Cuomo today announced the launch of a new school safety pilot program, Mutualink K-12, which will roll out in 20 public schools in Oneida and Rockland counties later this month. Mutualink K-12 is a new technology designed to improve communications and the sharing of information between participating schools and local first responders during an emergency. It will be implemented by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications in conjunction with each county’s sheriff’s office or emergency management office.
“In an emergency, mere seconds can make all the difference in averting tragedy,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new technology is yet another step we are taking to better protect students and ensure that first responders and law enforcement have access to quick and accurate information. I look forward to seeing the results of this pilot program.”
Mutualink K-12 is an IP-based multi-media communications solution for event-based incident management, enabling real-time information sharing, including voice, video, data and text, between schools and emergency responders. School radios, phones and mobile devices are connected to emergency dispatch systems to immediately alert responders and help them arrive on-scene faster, thus streamlining the emergency response process and eliminating time wasted during relaying telephone calls and message errors. Mutualink also provides a “panic button” feature which, when activated by the school, gives law enforcement instant access to the schools’ communications.
Rockland and Oneida counties will each have 10 schools participating in the pilot. The schools were selected by their respective counties.
For more information on Mutualink and the Mutualink K-12 platform, visit http://www.mutualink.net/Mutualink-School-Program.asp
DHSES Commissioner Jerome M. Hauer said, “Accurate information and situational awareness are critical to any emergency situation. This platform will give law enforcement and emergency managers real time access to voice, video and data to make smart, timely decisions on how to respond rapidly to any emergency situation.”
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. said, “One of the most important roles of County Government is public safety. The goal of this program is to keep children safe, and we are pleased to be selected to take part in this pilot. Whether a school is in danger of an active shooter or severe weather, this program will help law enforcement and first responders acquire real time audio, video and data to respond rapidly and correctly to an emergency situation.”
Rockland County Executive Edwin Day said, "As both a County Executive and a father, I am pleased that we are working together with New York State to protect our children. With this pilot project, for the first time we will utilize the latest technology to improve communications and the flow of information between schools and first responders during times of emergency. If Mutualink K-12 shows the expected positive results, I would love to see it expand to all of our schools."
Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco, III said, “The primary responsibility of government is to provide for the safety of our residents and none are more important than our children. This project will allow our schools to share real time audio, video and data with law enforcement at the county, town and village levels, to respond to incidents in the most effective manner possible, as they work to mitigate an emergency situation.”