Emergency notification system doesn’t work as drilled, leads to anger


In recent news from MassLive.com, a phoned-in threat against a local community college lead to a campus-wide lockdown and at least a little anger at the way things were handled.


When someone anonymously phoned in a threat of violence against Greenfield Community College in Greenfield, Mass, authorities erred on the side of caution and instantly put the campus into lockdown. 


However, according to the story, the college has an emergency notification system that is supposed to notify students, faculty and staff of the emergency protocol via texts, and emails. According to some students and teachers cited in the story, the notification piece didn’t work as it was supposed to and as they had drilled and students, faculty, and staff were left confused.


“I texted my family and friends,” one student who didn’t receive a notification as she was supposed to said in the MassLive story. “I told them I didn’t know what was happening, and I told them that I loved them. I know that even in a small town, you’re not 100 percent safe. But this is definitely giving me a lot more anxiety.”


Luckily, no act of violence ever occurred and the original call to nearby Brattleboro, Vermont Police could be ruled a hoax. But those caught up in the lockdown claim everyone should have happened differently.


Norris has covered the importance of having a prepared, readily-implemented workplace emergency response protocol in place. We’ve also discussed the importance of having a good emergency notification platform like Vigilance,  that can inform via multifarious means like text, email, desktop pop-up, IP phone systems, RoIP, giant voice towers, digital signage, etc.


It’s important for your employees and guests that you have the system, have the plan and drill them both in order to make sure everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency.


If your enterprise doesn’t have what it needs to be fully prepared, contact Norris today. We’ll work with you to help you be sure you’re ready.



What is Norris all about?

Norris, Inc.—a South Portland, Maine-based life-safety and security systems integrator with satellite offices in Bangor, Maine; Lee, New Hampshire; and Burlington, Vermont—was founded nearly 40 years ago by two brothers, Brad and Harty Norris. The brothers remain on the board of directors today and continue to help steer the enterprise toward its goal of advancing life-safety, security, and communications while striving to grow in its status as Northern New England’s leading systems integrator. Norris provides fully integrated life-safety and security solutions, comprising disparate systems including fire alarm, intrusion detection, access control, video surveillance, emergency notification, and communications.