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TECH BYTE: Tech for School Safety | #schoolsaftey

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — With more school shootings happening across the country, tech companies are looking at new ways to protect students and teachers.

Their latest device has been in the works for about a year now.

AT&T has teamed up with Intrado and FirstNet to launch a new school safety solution.

“It is something that is a tool for teachers, a tool for the school, and a tool for first responders,” said Matt Walsh, AT&T Assistant Vice President – FirstNet.

One feature of this Safety Shield is a Wearable Panic Button.

“You press the button, it immediately alerts 911,” Walsh said. “It gives you that opportunity as a teacher during an incident to be able to communicate directly with a 911 call taker, the 911 center because they’re next generation 911 call centers. They have the ability to receive text messages. So this basically sends a text message directly to 911, informing them of an incident, and related information about the location of that.”

Walsh says this tool helps both educators and first responders.

“There’s a whole platform that’s behind this device that can provide maps of the school inside, outside location of the beacon,” he said. “And it allows those first responders to be able to come to that event, and be prepared. And really, as we think about school safety, seconds really do count, right. And that’s a big part of the discussion on school safety is being able to respond quickly.”

And it can be used for more than just emergencies.

“This device also gives them an ability to report a suspicious person, you know, any number of things, graffiti, for example. And so it gives them an opportunity to have that type of interaction and management of a full system. That same platform does reunification management. So making sure that kids are getting picked up by the right parents at the right times.”

It even has a long battery life.

“We’re talking about a full semester of battery life so that the teachers aren’t having to keep up with keeping the devices charged. They stay charged for that full semester so that it’s always available and ready for them to use it,” Walsh said.

One less thing for educators to worry about, so they can focus on teaching.

The Safety Shield is already available to order for this coming school year.

Just go to FirstNet.com to start the process.

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