In Emergencies, Smartphone App Connects Caller, Campus Security, First Responders
The College of Southern Maryland will provide students, faculty, administrators and staff with a free, state-of-the-art personal safety app beginning with the fall semester.
“We’re very pleased to be able to make available this technology that promotes safety for anyone visiting our campuses, including our students, employees and guests,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried. “The app will allow individuals to connect directly with our public safety office.”
The app is designed to help CSM’s public safety officers minimize response times during both emergency and routine security/safety situations, according to Don Frick, executive director of CSM’s public safety and preparedness department. Developed by NowForce, a maker of mobile and cloud-based rapid emergency response solutions, the CSM personal safety app will contain an “SOS” (panic) button, and the ability to report an incident through a “see something, say something” functionality.
“The NowForce app differs from the college’s CSM.txt alert services,” Frick said. “We still want our students to register for our CSM.TXT alert service, in which we advise our students of instant information on emergencies and campus closing, but this app expands on that and will help our students connect with us directly. The app is like a hand-held, personal emergency phone that connects the caller directly with our public safety officers so we can send assistance as quickly as possible.”
Students will be able to use the app to request escorts or report security incidents, harassment, medical emergencies, fires, alcohol or drug violations, and a host of other issues, Frick said. The app is based on the user’s location and assists the officers in quickly identifying where the incident is being reported. The campus is surrounded by a “geo-fence” and if callers are outside of the boundaries of the campus the call is re-routed to a 911 dispatcher.
The application is available for download either from the App Store or Google Play.
To register, visit http://register-csm.nowforce.com and a text message will be sent to the user’s smartphone with the link to download the application as well as a link through which the user can add emergency contacts for the user to have these contacts receive an alert when the user reports an emergency.
For information on the college’s resources and emergency procedures, visit ready.csmd.edu.