Alertus Panic Button to Be Installed on All UTSA General Purpose Computers by August 1

July 29, 2016

by Nicole Duff at 11:56 AM in Campus Community, Projects, Staff News, Student Info, Interesting

Desktop Shortcut.png

(Desktop shortcut for the Alertus Panic Button.) 

In the event of a life-threatening emergency situation, UTSA students, faculty and staff will have an additional means of contacting the UTSA Police Department as of August 1. By this date, all UTSA general purpose classrooms will be equipped with a virtual panic button, which will enable users to immediately report an incident in times of distress.

The UTSA Office of Emergency Management (OEM) engaged in a partnership with the UTSA Office of Information Technology (OIT) to expand available solutions to ensure the protection and effective crisis preparedness of the UTSA community. OIT and OEM currently use the Alertus desktop notification system to communicate network/technology-related issues and emergency messages to the UTSA community.

Alertus Report.png 

(Screenshot of the report users will have to file in case of an emergency.)

"I think it's a great way for OIT to partner with other departments and entities in the university to further promote the use of technology with its different application use, in this case emergency response," said Ben Garcia, Director of Customer Service and Operations Support. "It is a great addition to the Alertus notification platform that was implemented two years ago and further validates the need and use for such a system."

Intended to supplement rather than replace existing means of communicating with emergency services, the virtual panic button will serve as another valuable communication channel, especially if cell phone access is affected during a crisis, due to a service outage or unavailable coverage. This user-friendly software will allow users to report emergencies that are occurring in general purpose classrooms, including medical issues, fires, or the presence of a violent person.

Users will be able to directly access the virtual panic button by clicking on the desktop shortcut titled "Emergency 911 Panic Button," which will be found on all general purpose classroom computers located on the Main, Downtown and Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) Campuses.

From there, users will be prompted to enter vital information such as their current location and contact information, and select the type of emergency from one of the categories listed. Users are encouraged to provide a brief description of the emergency they're reporting, and once submitted, the panic alert will be routed to the UTSA Police Dispatch.

"The Alertus Panic Button continuously promotes UTSA's dedicated response to ensuring the safety of our UTSA community," Garcia stated. "Also, it helps to further promote an additional channel for emergency response. After its official launch in the general purpose classrooms, the panic button will be integrated into the faculty/staff computer image that is used on all university computers."

Alertus Technologies is a widely-known company specializing in creating and implementing mass emergency notification systems which have been utilized in more than 1,000 organizations including schools, universities, healthcare facilities, etc. across the U.S, and in parts of Canada and Europe.