Page County Public Schools launch app to improve response time in active shooter situations

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 8:07 PM EST
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LURAY, Va. (WHSV) - Page County Public Schools is taking steps to be prepared in the event of an active shooter situation. The school division will soon begin using the LifeSpot app.

All school staff will have the app on their phones. It allows them to immediately notify law enforcement of an intruder or active shooter on school grounds.

“The minute they swipe that app, within six seconds all of the Sheriff’s Office, all of the local town police, fire and rescue, emergency response are instantly notified as well as all other staff members in the building,” said Page County Assistant Superintendent Dr. Paul Johnson.

The app is designed to improve response time and the speed at which schools can go into lockdown in the event of an emergency.

“If a student or a staff member were to see an active shooter in a building you can imagine phones come out, kids are calling parents, parents are calling 911 and we learned is in other shooting tragedies the 911 system can become ineffective because it’s overrun,” said Johnson.

The app will also include detailed maps of each school and highlights the location of each staff member on the app.

“Law enforcement can then see where every teacher is and what their status is. If they’re a yellow dot, it tells law enforcement they’ve locked down. If they’re a green dot it tells law enforcement that they’re able to flee. If they’re a red dot it tells law enforcement we’ve locked down and we’ve got an injury in the room,” said Johnson.

The app also allows for direct communication between staff members and between staff and law enforcement.

“Page County Public Schools takes school safety as utmost importance and our relationship with local law enforcement and emergency responders is sensational. We have an amazing partnership and we hope it never happens here but the community can rest assured that we’re working hard to take steps to protect our school,” said Johnson.

School staff will begin training to use the app this week, the goal is to have the system fully in place by January.