School Intercom Systems & Emergency Notification: Keeping School Safety First

As any education professional familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs knows, students can’t learn if their basic needs for safety aren’t met. During uncertain times like these, educators are frontline heroes. But as administrators in any level of the sector know, it’s vital whenever students come to your campus that you are prepared to ensure they get home safely. 

Whether students return to in-person instruction this semester or in the fall,  it’s important to consider all options for school safety programs when you are responsible for in-person instruction. This includes the installation and maintenance of emergency notification, school public address, or school public intercom systems. It’s all about school safety. Safe schools ensure an environment where students feel and are secure, and where real learning can begin.

Unfortunately, we all know there are many threats to students in today’s world—from active shooters in buildings or in campus open spaces, to weather events, and even biological threats like global pandemics. While the threats are uncountable, there are solutions to ensure safer in-person learning experiences. In a crisis, efficient communication saves lives, protecting students and staff as essential information is transmitted. 

Several of Ritron’s innovative products offer options and tools for keeping students safe, allowing you to spend less time focusing on how to keep them safe and more time focusing on what you do best—building educational experiences. Learn below about how we keep campuses safe, so you can turn to us as a partner in the most important job we are tasked with—ensuring that we’re sending students home safely at the end of the day or the end of the semester.

Ritron’s innovative products allow you to make announcements from anywhere on campus with a two-way radio.

When you need to communicate quickly to your entire campus—to make a general announcement, signal the end of a class period, or provide emergency instructions—you don’t want to waste a second. But purchasing and implementing a new system can be both costly and time-consuming, especially if you have to use a trenching or wiring process to install new hardware. The Ritron Radio-To-Intercom Bridge leverages two of your existing assets: your Public Address or Intercom system and your network of walkie-talkies. Linking these existing systems allows you to upgrade your all-campus emergency communication quickly and efficiently with a cost-effective solution. 

We know that our products keep students safe because we’ve worked with those on the front lines to devise and customize solutions. In Farmington, New Mexico, school officials revisited their safety plans when a devastating school shooting occurred in 2017 in nearby Aztec. After studying the situation, the police communication specialist noted that lives were saved because a custodial staff member noticed an intrusion and was able to make an announcement via the school intercom system in the front office. The public safety staff worried about access to the front office and the time it took for the staff member to walk to the office.  Working with our existing technology at Ritron, we came up with the idea for the Radio-to-Intercom Bridge which allows trusted staff to access the intercom system, no matter where they were on campus.

The Radio-to-Intercom Bridge integrates with your existing systems, allowing you to pair your two-way walkie-talkies with your existing intercom systems. Any authorized staff who has access to a walkie-talkie can make announcements anywhere on campus, not just from the central office. Ritron manufactures wireless (radio, not WiFi) PA systems as well as two-way radios, but we can also interface with other products to keep the total cost of installation low and be more efficient. Our goal is to keep as many students safe as possible by ensuring our products are easy to install, easy to use, and easy to pair with your existing technologies. The quicker you can install a new system, the quicker you can keep students safe—and the more resources you have to work on additional solutions.

Two-Way Callboxes promote safety in outdoor spaces and allow for safety solutions on large campuses.

Not all campuses are one-building, interior spaces. Staff at community colleges, four-year universities, and nonprofit educational spaces such as outdoor recreational facilities have additional safety obligations they must comply with to keep students and visitors safe. Building on forty years of listening to customers’ needs, we’ve devised unique solutions that keep students safe, no matter what your campus set-up looks like.

Does your campus rely on gates and remote access to control foot and vehicle traffic? Many Ritron solutions like GateGuard use two-way callboxes and radios to communicate across campus and to secure locations. We measure distance in miles, not feet—just like you do on your expansive outdoor campuses. The GateGuard package includes a callbox, portable radio, and a base-station radio. Remote access can help not only secure locations and roads to make sure only authorized individuals enter, but can also be used for communications during times of increased social distance. We offer callboxes that are designed for indoor use as well as models outfitted with heavy-duty outdoor casing. We strongly believe our products are not a commodity- they are purpose-built solutions built to last without needing frequent replacements.

Another safety concern on a campus is remote parking lots and campus pathways, especially after dark. Most students carry cell phones —but in an emergency situation, they might not have time to find their phones, and quickly dial the right number that can connect them with a live dispatcher. When Franklin College opened a new parking garage structure, students requested direct access to campus police for enhanced safety. Administrators turned to Ritron to quickly and efficiently install a safety solution without digging up concrete or trenching—a process that would be expensive, labor-intensive, disruptive to classes and, most importantly, slow. Working together with our distributors, they were quickly able to ensure student safety. Franklin College illustrates how callboxes are customizable to your needs, but always easy to use and install.

Closing: The world has changed. We help you adapt.

When you identify a gap in your safety system, you need it to be fixed by yesterday. Nothing is more important than keeping kids safe. Unfortunately, the reality is the world is a lot less safer for children today than it used to be. Whether the threat is violence or a germ, we have to be innovative in the ways we meet these threats, and protect the students that are left in our care. We help keep your students safe.

We firmly believe that efficiency is the key to keeping safe. This could mean repurposing existing infrastructure, or choosing a solution that has a relatively low cost of installation and allows you to invest in more devices. We’d be happy to speak with you about your individual campuses and help you devise solutions that will keep your students safe. Fill out the form or give us a call if you’re ready to start solutioning with us, so we can work together to keep students safe. 

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