Case Study: InformaCast Keeps Commuter Campus Safe and Informed

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Keeping People Out of Harm’s Way

Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, Wis., has six campuses that serve upwards of 30,000 students and nearly 500 employees. With campuses spread across the northern part of the state, and none that feature on-campus housing, its student population is made of commuters. This makes it challenging to alert the entire student body when an emergency occurs. Northcentral needed a tool that would keep people safe on campus, but also alert commuters to avoid the campus when an emergency was taking place.

The college decided to implement InformaCast emergency notification system to increase the effectiveness of its safety plans by informing students and staff at various campuses across northern Wisconsin of emergency situations. InformaCast serves as the core of an integrated system of devices and tools that trigger and send mass notification broadcasts.

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InformaCast ties into the communication app, SchoolMessenger, and other technologies, to provide the backbone for a single solution for all of the college’s communication and safety tools. Each campus is able to customize InformaCast to respond to specific emergency and lockdown situations they might encounter. This includes events taking place on campus and events nearby that may pose a danger to students and staff. This is especially important on a commuter campus as incoming students may put themselves in the path of danger even if an incident is not occurring on the campus.

Securing Classrooms

One of the features the technology team has worked on at NTC to improve processes and procedures, is installing room displays outside of all rooms. This lets people know if a room is occupied, for how long, and at what other points throughout the day the room is in use.

Integration Provides Security

At NTC, InformaCast is the glue that binds the other security technologies together. Genetec security system is tied into InformaCast for all the door locks and the camera system. Pushing a button on a Cisco desk phone or through the Genetec mobile app will lock all the doors, restrict key card access points, and shut off the room displays. Prerecorded emergency messages play on telephones and overhead speakers throughout campus. Prerecorded audio is also utilized in the event of severe weather to alert on- and off-premises students about potential school closings.

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Text and phone calls are sent to all security personnel and students via the SchoolMessenger plug-in. Emails are sent via SchoolMessenger, and include text and audio depending on the situation.

Cisco and 911 Alerting

The tight integration with Cisco phone systems means the college saved money not needing to buy any additional hardware, and its ability to send accurate information quickly, makes it easy for personnel to use, even during stressful situations.

InformaCast also makes it easy to facilitate emergency responders when 911 is called from buildings on campus. The phone location gets sent to the 911 dispatcher and the campus security teams meets responders to guide them to the area they are needed.

All of this is made by possible with assistance from InformaCast, which facilitates sending messages and connecting various systems. InformaCast helps colleges across the country with emergency notification, security, safety and more to provide safe and secure learning environments.

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