Keeping people safe and informed is an important part of pretty much any operation, no matter where you are. Whether you’re in a school system, a healthcare system, or anything else that requires a rapid disbursal of information (especially in emergencies), it’s critical that we have the necessary tools to achieve that. What might that entail?
Today, we’ll be covering some examples of these intercom systems, how they can be used, and why it matters to have them around. If you didn’t know, there are a surprising number of perks to them beyond just being compliant with laws like Alyssa’s Law (which you can find more information on here: https://www.fldoe.org/safe-schools/alyssas-alert.stml). Stick around to learn more about it!
What are Communication Systems in this Context?
When we hear the phrase “emergency broadcast system,” it elicits certain imagery. Perhaps you conjure up mental images of people running around like chickens with their heads cut off, maybe it makes us think about panic and disorder. The thing is, having certain precautionary systems in place like a broadcast intercom can help prevent those disaster scenarios from materializing.
Now, these systems aren’t the same as the national one known as the Emergency Alert System (EAS). You can learn more about that on this page, but it’s different in that it includes every single phone in the nation, rather than being a closed system for a specific hospital or school. We mention it because the idea behind them is the same, though: keeping everyone involved safe in case of emergencies.
The idea here is that every employee will have an app or some other form of making them easy to reach – it will probably depend on the specific intercommunication method that you’re using. Often, they also service pagers and the broadcast systems that many schools and hospitals use that allow for loudspeaker announcements to be made. If you need something specific, just take that into account as you research what type of cast system you want to get.
How Do They Work?
The exact details of how these intercom systems work will again depend on which one you’re using. For today’s purposes, we’ll be focusing on what we mentioned in the title. Perhaps the most obvious implementation of intercoms these days is in school buildings. K-12 schools are in a unique position right now where emergencies might crop up at any minute, even more than ever before.
Because of this, it’s hard to deny how critical it is to have emergency broadcast options in these environments. There are a few options – intrusive text message sounds that will alert anyone who hears them, or more subtle options in the case of not wanting to draw too much attention to the location of those receiving the broadcast. An example of that might be an active shooter situation – it’s necessary to inform everyone in the building, but without making them into targets because of the noise made.
For that reason (amongst others), finding an authorized distributor of InformaCast® from Singlewire® can feel like a daunting task. How can we locate one that will offer a legitimate form of communication, not just for schools, but also for healthcare systems and industrial plants? Thankfully, it isn’t too difficult with the right resources.
Why is this so Important, anyway?
To some, the answer to this question will seem incredibly obvious. Despite this, we do think it’s worth covering and truly hammering the message home. Keeping students, patients, and workers safe, along with the teachers, doctors, and nurses should be a top priority. Having these systems in place to inform everyone of emergencies is a huge part of that.
Emergencies aren’t the only use for these systems, although it’s worth noting that in schools, there are plenty of regulations established on both state and federal levels (https://assembly.state.ny.us/Press/?sec=story&story=102264). Alyssa’s Law is just one example of that, so double-check with your local legislation to see if there are any additional requirements in place. Many companies that create these communication options do keep this in mind as they develop the programs.
Rapid disbursal of information in any situation can be quite useful. Take, for example, morning announcements that are made in most schools. They’re more than just a vector for saying the pledge of allegiance – they’re also a way for the administration to make announcements regarding policy updates and upcoming events! Clearly, they’re multipurpose.
In a healthcare context, they’re also a way to assist with regular aspects of daily operations. The biggest example of this is patient tracking, which can be a bit difficult without utilizing programs like this. It’s important to keep everyone who sees a patient on the same page about their overall status and wellness, at least to an extent, and this can help with that.
Generally speaking, these types of communication options also allow us to handle any automated messages that we want to send out. Industrial plants and factories are a good example of that, in that we can set reminders for break start times and end times or any other daily routines. Automation of this can save us valuable time that can be put to other purposes.
Are Broadcast Systems Worth it?
Based on what we’ve covered today, you can probably guess that we’d consider them to be worth it. Of course, it will depend on the needs of your organization. Some factories or industrial plants, for instance, may not need something this sophisticated. However, it’s hard to ignore the clear benefits that they can bring to the table.
Explore what’s out there and see if there are any that offer the features you’re looking for. Think about what could be useful for your organization, whether that’s emergency broadcast options, panic buttons, tracking information, lockdown announcements, or shift reminders. Each can be just as valuable to have on hand.
There’s also the fact that these options also help us comply with any regulations set in place. This is often a big deal when it comes to evaluations and receiving more funding.