Washington State Deploys Crisis Management System To Protect All Public Schools
The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) announced recently that the statewide Critical Incident Planning and Mapping System (CIPMS) is now protecting nearly 2,000 public K-12 schools in the State of Washington. The CIPMS is also protecting 18 of the state’s 35 community colleges.
The statewide system provides police, fire, school officials and other first responders with secure and instant access to critical campus information including site and floor plans, aerial and geospatial (GIS) imagery, hazardous material locations, emergency response plans, digital images both inside and outside the school, and evacuation routes via a computer. WASPC has also worked to bring emergency responders together with facility officials at each mapped site to pre-plan how they will respond to emergencies at each campus.
Following a 2001 pilot program, the Washington State Legislature in 2003 passed a bill that delegated WASPC the responsibility to create and operate a statewide Critical Incident Planning and Mapping System to protect schools. The program has since been expanded to protect other public facilities and infrastructure in the state. The CIPMS promotes pre-event collaboration between school officials and first responders and then leverages technology to provide them with quick access to site-specific information during an emergency.
“The statewide program has been very effective in helping public safety agencies respond to emergencies,” said Don Pierce, executive director of WASPC. “Most notably, the system was used in an ‘active shooter’ event at a Washington state high school to quickly contain a gunman and evacuate 2,000 students in 20 minutes. The CIPMS provided first responders with quick access to floor plans where the gunman was located as well as images of what the shooter was able to see. The system has also been used during bomb threats, lockdowns, fire incidents and natural disasters.”
“Washington state has been proactive in providing a safe learning environment for our students,” said Governor Christine Gregoire. “From addressing bullying issues to the deployment of this one-of-a-kind statewide emergency response program, the state is committed to keeping our children safe.”
The technology behind the CIPMS, Prepared Response Inc’s Rapid Responder crisis management system, has been certified as a “Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology” through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s SAFETY Act program and is endorsed by the National Sheriffs’ Association. The State of Washington has received the Harvard/Noblis Innovations Award in Homeland Security for the program. Rapid Responder protects nearly 15,000 school and other critical infrastructure facilities in 15 states and is used by more than 600 public safety agencies.