ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the capital city’s police department gave a detailed presentation to the administration of educational institutions over planned security arrangements and introduced an smartphone-based emergency alert system that would deployed at schools to improve reporting capabilities in the case of an emergency.
On Friday, principals and focal persons from schools and colleges across the capital were invited to the Islamabad College for Boys in Sector G-6/3, on the orders of Islamabad Inspector General Tahir Alam Khan. The presentation was attended by 280 representatives of 118 educational institutes, and was conducted by Assistant Inspector General (Operations) Dr Sultan Azam Temuri and Inspector Khalid Awan.
The presentation dealt with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and security arrangements developed for educational institutions by law enforcement agencies.
The presentation included a briefing on security equipment, including walk-thorough gates, metal detectors and the installation of barbed wire.
Another portion of the briefing dealt with mock exercises that will be conducted at all schools and colleges to acquaint staff and students along with the emergency evacuation plan.
The responsibilities of teachers, the administration, students and guards were also laid out in the presentation. Students should be wary of strangers and should inform their teachers if someone suspicious or unfamiliar is spotted by them, the police officers stressed.
The administrations were asked to issue identification cards, to students and visitors, and to ensure that no one will be allowed to come close to their buildings without requisite identification. At least one guard on campus should carry a weapon and all such guards should remain alert and avoid being engaged in other activities.
Presentation includes new SOPs for emergency response; PTA introduces SOS software for quick reporting of emergencies
PTA Director Khalid Khan also presented the newly developed smartphone-based emergency alert system.
The app that is linked to the system would be installed in the mobile phones of representatives from each educational institute, police said.
The administrative staff of 422 government and 1,200 private schools, colleges and universities woiuld be given access to this system.
The system is designed to curtail response times as far as possible. The app eliminates the need to send a text message or make a call, because in a crisis, there is often never enough time to do so.
The app makes this easier by sending an generating an emergency message when the power button on the phone is pressed three times. The message thus generated is forwarded to all concerned departments and offices, including the police, Fire Brigade, Rescue 1122, Civil Defence and Rangers.
The system will connect directly to Police Control Room and Rescue 15, police officers said, adding that the system would be installed in the phones of at least two representatives from each educational institute.
Special tablets are being placed in police station control rooms which will receive the SOS alert generated by any educational institution, giving police the geographic location of the distress call via Google Maps and identify the sender.
Published in Dawn January 10th , 2014