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Expand access to the Rave Mobile app school safety tool in Suffolk!

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In the wake of school shooting tragedies, districts everywhere are working to improve safety and security of their buildings and grounds. Here in Suffolk, we were very excited to learn about the Rave Mobile Safety app which was presented by Suffolk County as a part of the Rapid Response Project and the expansion of the panic button system.

There are a number of features that have had a meaningful impact on school safety in Suffolk County in pilot districts, and the tool should absolutely be expanded to all districts.

Here’s what happens when the Panic Button is activated with one touch:

-A 9-1-1 call is made, which allows the teacher or faculty member witnessing an incident to provide details about what is happening, where in the school the emergency is taking place, and in turn allows the personnel at 9-1-1 to transmit the information to first responders immediately.

-A notification is sent to the other staff members in the building. I cannot stress enough how critical this step in the process is. By notifying other teachers and staff members as soon as the Panic Button is pressed, they are able to react quickly, and take protective measures, whether that takes the form of an evacuation, or barricading doors. We saw in Parkland, Florida how quickly a person with ill intent can unleash violence, and seconds truly do mean the difference between life and death for some in the building during these horrific events.

-School building information is given to first responders so they can understand the layout of the building, and identify the best point of access to reach victims quickly, and put a stop to the threat in the case of an active shooter.

The Suffolk County Legislature unanimously voted to expand the program, but later the minority party opposed the funding of the program.  I urge all parents, school employees, board members, and concerned citizens to contact Minority Leader Tom Cilmi and each of the Legislators who refuse to fund this important school safety tool and tell them our schools need every tool available to keep our kids and faculty safe!