Virginia Community Colleges Launch Emergency Notification System

Cooper Notification recently announced that 17 additional Virginia Community College System (VCCS) colleges launched the patent-pending Roam Secure Alert Network (RSAN) for emergency notification, joining Northern Virginia Community College, which launched its system in August.

Through RSAN, campus safety officials on each college campus can now send targeted alerts via e-mail, text and voice messaging, and other delivery channels to students, faculty and staff.

Each campus launched RSAN independently. Parents, alumni and friends of the university can also sign up for RSAN at no charge by visiting each corresponding Web site. The remaining five VCCS colleges have pre-existing contracts with other providers, but will have the opportunity to install the RSAN solution when those contracts expire.

“Given VCCS’ commitment to the safety and security of our students and staff, we chose RSAN-a reliable emergency notification system that will reach our students anytime, anywhere,” said Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System.

“The launch of the emergency notification system fulfills one of the recommendations called for in the report of the Chancellor’s Emergency Preparedness Task Force report,” said Neil Matkin, vice chancellor of the Virginia Community College System.

The report was endorsed by the Community College Board in January 2008 and can be read by going to the VCCS Web site (www.vccs.edu/prepare).

“As a leader in the emergency notification industry and a strong presence in Virginia, we are confident RSAN will help keep our students, faculty and staff better informed during an emergency,” said Matkin.

The Web-based RSAN system supports over 18,000 messages per minute and automatically delivers real-time information and alerts to e-mail, pagers, cell phones, BlackBerry, desktops, voice calls, indoor and outdoor speakers and more. Alerts can be generated from a single web interface, or using a mobile device. The systems are hosted in highly secure, fully redundant data centers for optimal performance and easy maintenance and support.

“Alerts can be sent to each individual campus using their individual RSAN systems, and information can be shared automatically with all the participating colleges within the VCCS via the Roam Secure Information Exchange (RSIX),” said Rick Tiene, VP of Homeland Security Solutions, Cooper Notification. “The VCCS deployments will also be integrated with the over 30 existing RSAN systems at major cities, counties and other colleges across Virginia that are connected via RSIX and the Virginia Statewide Alerting Network (SWAN). The Virginia Department of Emergency Management manages the SWAN, which was the first statewide alert and information sharing system deployed in the United States.”

The VCCS includes 23 colleges on 40 campuses located throughout the state. This year, the VCCS has an enrollment of more than 240,000 students.

RSAN is integrated with Cooper’s mass notification solutions, including WAVES (Wireless Audio Visual Emergency System) High Power Speaker Arrays, which broadcasts emergency messages over wide areas, SAFEPATH indoor voice evacuation system and Cooper Notification’s Wheelock and MEDC branded fire and security devices. The Cooper Notification Mass Notification platform provides customers an integrated, multi-layered approach with indoor, outdoor, text and voice.

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