School Employees Now Have Direct Line to First Responders

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School employees will soon be equipped with an immediate line to first responders for emergencies. Both school officials and the Rogers Fire Department say this is the “first of it’s kind” technology in the Natural State.

One click of a button and school administrators, nurses, and even bus drivers will have personal access to Northwest Arkansas’ bravest and finest. 

“We would get to directed to that particular zone which would be Rogers Public Schools – and then they would be on the exact same channel and we would get to talk to them directly,” Captain Greg Bray from the Rogers Fire Department. 

All police and fire across the state communicate through a statewide emergency radio system.

Now the city of Rogers has agreed to let its district have a designated line of its own to local police and fire. 

“It’s digital but it does look like a little radio,” Assistant Superintendent Charles Lee said. “And it has different channels – what we call – talk groups”

These communication devices look like a walkie-talkie but Capt. Greg Bray says they are actually computers which bypass the dispatcher – shaving off valuable seconds. 

“During the emergency, they would probably still call 9-1-1 but now they can speak with us directly first to ease the flow of communication,” Capt. Bray said. 

Capt. Bray has worked as a fireman for decades

He says this addition is just one of the many ways his role is shifting towards prepping for school security. 

“We want to take what may be happening elsewhere and learn from it and it could make our job a little easier when we are trying ot combat a whatever may come up,” Capt. Bray said. 

The district says it’s budgeted $350,000. 

The new emergency line will be implemented when students come back from Christmas break in January of 2019.

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