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Abilene ISD using CrisisGo app to broadcast emergency alerts to students and staff members

This school year, the Abilene Independent School District is using an app called CrisisGo to help keep students and staff members safe during school hours.

Dan Cottner, AISD Safety and Security Coordinator, said that the app allows teachers to alert every other teacher at the school, along with staff members, local law enforcement and first responders all at once.

"So, within 30 seconds, I can let the entire community know what's going on," Cottner said.

CrisisGo allows teachers to broadcast emergency alerts during a crisis as well as receive them on their laptops, cell phones or tablets.

Kevin Wellborn, Assistant Principal at Bonham Elementary School, said that using the app is more efficient compared to the school district’s previous plan, relying on a PA system or word of mouth, because everyone is guaranteed to receive the alert through CrisisGo, which is fast and convenient.

"We got PA systems, but that’s not heard on the playground and maybe not heard at the gym, where as this goes right to the teacher. It goes to their phones and it’s also on their iPads and it’s on their computer,” Wellborn said.

CrisisGo was used for the first time just last month at Madison Middle School and Jackson Elementary School when authorities were searching for a man accused of stealing an SUV and then running across Winters Freeway.

"Within seconds of receiving that, they were able to use the app and send out that lockdown alert. Every teacher got the alert and instantly knew what was going on as opposed to the past where you have to rely on word of mouth, portable radio or digital phone system," Cottner said.

If an emergency occurs and an alert goes out, teachers are able to notify administrators through the app if all of their students are safe, if some of them are missing or if there are other students in their classroom who are assigned to a different class.

The app can also be used in emergencies like fires and bomb threats.

Additionally, there is a panic broadcast feature that allows teachers to notify staff if there is an emergency in their classroom or anywhere else at school.

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