ShareThis Page
South Hills

West Jefferson Hills district emergency response includes 360-degree imaging

| Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, 11:00 p.m.

Emergency responders in the West Jefferson Hills School District soon will have access to 360-degree images of each classroom and hallway, live camera feeds and updated emergency plans at the click of a button.

The move to compile building blueprints, aerial photos and updated rosters in an online system — along with adding 360-degree images — will provide faster access to emergency responders in the event of an emergency, said Jim Modrak, director of security.

“You're seeing it first hand,” he said.

Board members in January approved a proposal from NaviGate Prepared for $16,500 for a one-year licensing and setup cost for the 2018-19 school year. The district will pay an annual licensing fee of $5,000 for subsequent years.

A $1,600 down payment for 2018-19 provided the district access for the remainder of the 2017-18 school year.

“This will give us a digital, online emergency operations plan that all of our first responders, all of our police departments, fire, medics, anybody that is part of our safety plan, would have access too,” Scott Milburn, assistant superintendent of secondary education, told board members.

Under Chapter 10 of the Pennsylvania Code, school districts in cooperation with their local emergency management agency, must create and implement a comprehensive disaster response and emergency preparedness plan.

Districts must distribute copies of building blueprints, aerial photos, teacher and student rosters and a current yearbook to local police and fire departments before Sept. 30 each year.

Currently, West Jefferson Hills provides its emergency service departments with hard copies of the documents, Modrak said.

“Up until six or seven years ago, that was standard,” he said.

Some districts now distribute USB drives. However, one change to a student roster or classroom and those are outdated, he said.

Modrak consulted with other districts that utilize an online-based system that provides up-to-date information on handheld devices and computers for emergency responders.

Both Quaker Valley and South Fayette use NaviGate Prepared, he said.

The district can restrict who has access to what information.

There are five fire departments, two medic units and three police departments in the West Jefferson Hills School District, that includes Pleasant Hills, Jefferson Hills and West Elizabeth boroughs.

In the next month, crews will walk the hallways and classrooms in the district to document and photograph the buildings for the 360-degree imagining.

“What is nice is the immediacy,” Modrak said. “The information can stay new, current and updated.”

Future plans are to connect each camera to the plans so that emergency responders can view a live feed at the click of a button while looking through the floorplan during an emergency, Modrak said.

“If there's an active intruder, they can click on the cameras right there and see what's going on,” he said.

The system also will include an app available on mobile devices that will allow district staff to digitally check off where a student is during a fire or emergency.

Currently, they do all of that on paper.

“It narrows down really quickly who's here and who's not,” Modrak said.

Once the system is up and running the district will do a test run.

The current high school will be added to the system and once the new high school is finished, it will be included.

Modrak said he hopes to have the program operating by the end of this school year.

Semi-annual meetings will be held with emergency responders to go over the information and updates, he said.

Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me