Gwinn district’s safety technology a smart move

We wish it weren’t so but in a world where school shootings — where mass shootings — are all too common, Gwinn Area Community Schools has introduced a new safety initiative that’s most fitting for our troubled times.

Rave Panic Button, a new phone app, allows staff members to connect immediately with 911 and emergency services. It then lets them receive more details about the location and type of emergency.

GACS Superintendent Sandy Petrovich told Journal reporter Christie Bleck for a story in Thursday’s edition that said Gary Johnson, manager of Marquette County Central Dispatch, and Teresa Schwalbach, emergency management coordinator for Marquette County, had reached out to the district to see if it would be interested in being the first one in our area to implement the Rave Panic Button app.

The Gwinn district indeed was.

“An active shooter button would alert whoever — and probably everybody in the whole system — that would need to know there was an active shooter in the building or even in the district,” said Petrovich, who along with Johnson explained the process Tuesday at Gilbert Elementary School.

According to the story, the app includes different buttons for various emergency services such as police, fire or medical, for example, and the district can hook into each of those lists.

“A couple of weeks ago, there was a need to call an ambulance here to Gilbert school,” Petrovich said. “I had no clue that an ambulance was called.”

Petrovich said this was a situation where the Rave Panic Button would be needed.

“Using this app to call that ambulance out for medical would also alert any internal staff who are medically trained that there was a medical emergency they needed to respond to,” Petrovich said. “So, instead of calling each room — ‘Hey, can you come down? Hey, can you come down?’ — everybody would get that message at the same time, that there was a medical emergency and could respond to it immediately.”

Sounds like an efficient tool in what would be a stressful time. We hope the device is never needed, but still encourage other districts to take a look at Rave Panic Button, just in case the unthinkable happens.