Washington State Public Schools Protected by Crisis Management System

April 20, 2009

The Washington State legislature passed a bill in 2003 that assigned the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) the responsibility to create and operate a statewide Critical Incident Planning and Mapping System (CIPMS) to protect schools. Since that bill was passed, the CIPMS has been expanded to include other public facilities and infrastructure in the state, and the WASPC announced on Wednesday that it is now protecting almost 2,000 public K-12 schools and 18 out of the 35 community colleges in Washington State.

“The statewide program has been very effective in helping public safety agencies respond to emergencies,” said the executive director of WASPC, Don Pierce. “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.”

The CIPMS uses Rapid Responder® crisis management system technology, which is certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s SAFETY Act program as a “Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology,” and it provides police officers, fire fighters, school officials, and other first responders with secure and instant access to important 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 schools, and evacuation routes via a computer. Additionally, the WASPC has worked with emergency responders and facility officials together at each mapped site for pre-planning how they will respond to emergencies at each campus.

“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.”

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