Holland College lockdown system provides safety for students and staff


  Jeff Paquet of Neuron Communications giving a demonstration of how a message is sent to the security centre.

     It is pretty innovative thing for Holland College to implement the use of the lockdown system, says Jeff Paquet of Neuron Communications.

     After such tragedies as the Virginia Tech shootings, security and the safety of students and teachers on campuses has become a top priority because it is important to prevent something like that from happening here, he said.

      The system used for the lockdown is called a mass notification system and any emergency message sent from any of the 11 buildings that are part of Holland College will be received by one of Neuron’s operators, said Paquet.

     “After someone pushes one of the emergency buttons on any of the campus buildings, the message is sent to a monitoring station and is answered by a live person who alerts the authorities.”

      The response is as quick, if not quicker than making a 9-1-1 phone call and the school is put on lockdown as soon as the message is sent to the right building by the operator at the security office he said

     “Once the building is in lockdown, the students and staff must follow the proper protocol.”

     A message is repeatedly played over the intercom and it will not stop playing until the police arrive, he said.

      The message is: Initiating lock down, initiating lock down, initiating lock down now.

      There are small white speakers throughout each building and there are emergency buttons in designated spots throughout the buildings as well, he said.

     “They are only to be pushed in case of an emergency, like if someone is carrying a concealed weapon.”

      The speakers outside of the buildings will loop the lockdown message as well to prevent anyone else from entering, Paquet said

      “The system has no finite or you could say that as the campus continues to grow, the system will continue to grow with it.”

       The head of corporate services at Holland College, Justin Dunn, said it only makes sense to have the lockdown system in place on campus.

      “If we are prepared for fire, we should be prepared for any other emergency that might happen.”

      With statistics showing a growth in violence in schools, it is good to have this system in place, Dunn said

       “We  are being proactive instead of reactive when it comes to the safety of our students and staff. There are signs explaining what to do in case of a lockdown located all of our classrooms across the province.”

        Lockdown drills are going to be done with students and staff will be sent e-mails well in advance, he said.

         “Our first drill should be sometime between March and April and there will be two drills per year.”

         First responders will be close enough on hand to inspect halls and evaluate the college’s progress, he said

          “We will also be introducing additional locks on the doors of classrooms and computer rooms to increase the number of green shelter rooms across the province. Once the review after each drill is done, we will determine what we need to improve upon.”

           Paquet  said it’s like fire insurance. It is good to have but you hope you never use it.











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