Mutualink announced an alliance with one of the Nation’s top school safety and security experts, William “Bill” Smith, to improve schools’ preparedness and response in emergency situations through advanced communications technology. As the founding member of American School Safety.com, LLC and principal of Jennings Smith Associates, Mr. Smith brings over thirty years of experience as a security consultant and is a reknowned authority on US school safety and security issues.
Mr. Smith founded American School Safety in 1999 in an effort to help school administrators, police and emergency services personnel prepare for and respond to school-based safety and security incidents. His licensed security consulting firm, Jennings Smith Associates, Inc. provides comprehensive safety and security audits, training and instructional modules for implementing All Hazards Safety, Security and Emergency Management Plans in school districts. AmericanSchoolSafety.com has nearly 15,000 members, including public and private school superintendents, headmasters, educators, public safety officials, federal, state and local emergency managers, and other youth-serving professionals across the United States and Canada. In 2009, he introduced an innovative and patented school security and crisis assistance response system called the Crisis Response Kit (CRK) which has been distributed to schools and other facilities across the United States.
After observing the life-saving impact of Mutualink’s school safety technology in live school crisis exercises conducted with local enforcement and first reponders, Mr. Smith became strong proponent of its time-saving and life-saving potential. Mutualink K12 is a secure communications platform that establishes an instant bi-directional link with police, fire, EMS, and other entities in emergency situations. With the push of a panic button, schools can instantly communicate with first responders and share real-time voice, intercom, video, data and text communications.
“Response time is a critical element in keeping people safe, particularly in an active shooter scenario,” said Bill Smith, Founder, American School Safety. “One of the true benefits of using this technology is that it can be launched at the first sign of a school emergency, and the responding team – including police, fire and emergency services units – can instantly assess the threat and respond immediately with specific resources to resolve the issue. Mutualink gives responders eyes and ears on a situation, and any time you can give law enforcement an advantage like that, it saves time and saves lives.”
Schools throughout the country have deployed Mutualink K12 since it was introduced in 2014. In multiple school safety drills, the technology has reduced time to incident resolution by 40%. Response time reduction was attributed to first responders having remote, real-time visibility into the school buildings, which enabled them to quickly identify and track an assailant’s movements, while at the same time receiving important information from personnel inside the schools to help block movement and secure and protect portions of the school. It has also reduced the amount of time required for first responders to secure areas and safely evacuate students, teachers and personnel who are sheltering in place, and enabled emergency medical responders faster, safer access to injured students who need immediate attention.
“We’re honored that a security expert of Bill Smith’s caliber recognizes the significant value our technology brings to the school community,” said Joe Mazzarella, Senior Vice President, Mutualink. “The ability to communicate and share information with first responders – and across agencies and partners as needed – provides critical capabilities that can make a real-world difference in terms of safety outcomes. We look forward to working closely with Bill to advance our shared goal of securing our schools.”
“There are plenty of new mobile apps and adapted enterprise communications systems masquerading as some sort of ‘safe school’ solution. I would advise school administrators and security professionals that these labels mean little. Schools need authentic solutions that work within the context of their All Hazards Safety, Security and Emergency Management Plan. Effectve solutions are shaped and informed by a full understanding of the school security environment and overall security best practices, policies and procedures. I have seen and evaluated many so-called school safety solutions, and I believe Mutualink’s technology is one of a few that can reliably assist schools in a real life emergency. I cannot be more emphatic that Mutualink is critical to fundamentally improving school safety and is more than a worthwhile investment, it is a necessary investment. I would also say, based on my experience, that school leaders need to be very wary of the ‘we can do that too’ phenomna. The fact is, Mutualink is a uniquely qualified and proven solution, and if it’s my child, I want the real thing that does what it is supposed to do, reliably and effectively. I’m not into gambing with lives,” concluded Mr. Smith.
To learn more about Mutualink’s school safety program, please visit: Mutualink K-12.