ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA) — As the number of shootings grows across the U.S., the Rogers School District is becoming the first in the state to implement a new emergency radio system.
Local emergency personel are calling it a large investment in student safety.
The Rogers School District, along with police, fire, and city officials, collaborated to add to the state’s radio network.
“We want to be the model for other communities across the state,” says Rogers Fire Chief Tom Jenkins. “For the first time ever the school systems, its buses, the special events they have, school sites, each elementary schools, the alternative school, high school, middle school, you name it. Getting all their campuses on a radio system that is compatible and interoperable with the radio system being used by the police and fire department here in Rogers.”
With the click of one button, Rogers schools can have instant communication with emergency personel.
Jenkins calls it an investment which the fire department used $4 million from the 2018 bond issue. The school district used separate funds.
The radio system can shave off critical seconds in emergencies big and small.
“Now we can communicate with them directly without having to go through a cell phone, or second party communication system,” says Charles Lee, Assistant Superintendent.
The collaboration was one year in the making, and now it’s ready to go for Rogers School staff this Wednesday.
“If that button is pressed, they will immediately know whose button is pressed, the school site, and they are going to know there is a problem going on,” Jenkins said. “There’s a lot cheaper radios that what we run in Rogers. We have those radios to make sure that when we have opportunities to work together like this, we can take advantage of those opportunities.”
Lee adds, “it’s all about safety for our kids, and getting the first response there as quick as we can.”