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KU Medical Center Installs Real-time Beacon System

The University of Kansas Medical Center has installed a new system from Alertus Technologies that notifies students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus in the case of an emergency. The primary communication tools in the new system are wall-mounted "beacons," which function as a way for the KU Medical Center Police Department to communicate with the campus in real time. The units are located in every classroom and on every floor in university buildings. If activated, the beacons display flashing red lights and sound sirens, and directions are given on the units' text boards.

The system will be used in the event of severe weather that requires immediate action, situations that affect public safety, or environmental dangers to the campus.

"The safety of everyone on our campus is, of course, our highest priority," said Ed Phillips, vice chancellor for administration. "This notification system ensures quick and clear communication in an emergency and is one way we're helping to keep those on our campus safe."

In the event of an emergency, the communication to campus from the KUMC Police Department is threefold: the Alertus Notification Beacons are activated; an e-mail is sent to university students, faculty, and staff; and a text message is sent to the cell phones of members of the campus community who have opted in to the text messaging alert service.

Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, another Alertus customer, installed its beacon system in late 2007.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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