EVERETT, Wash. - Just months after the school shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School, a new panic button app is being rolled out in Snohomish County schools. The idea is to get information to the right people more quickly.
Woodside Elementary School in Bothell is one of more than 80 schools getting the new Rave Panic Button system. Parents of students at Woodside say emergency response is top of mind.
“I worry about that,” said Mario Cisneros. “I think every parent worries about that.”
“It's scary,” said Erika Ouderkirk. “I've actually considered homeschooling.”
With the push of a button, 911 is called, and depending on the emergency, the dispatcher sends the information to a pre-set group of people at the school. In a shooting like what occurred at Marysville-Pilchuck High, every staff member would get the message.
After the Marysville shooting, some students were locked down in their classrooms for more than an hour. SNOPAC 911 director Kurt Mills told KIRO 7 this app would have gotten the all-clear message to people more quickly.
“It's amazing,” said Ouderkirk. “I think it's incredible how much technology is improving and if we can be a test subject for this new app, I'm all for it.”
SNOPAC 911 used this app for the first time this week. Someone called 911 about a medical emergency in the Cascade High School gym. Then the 911 operator using the app pushed the information to the proper authorities at the school.
A $250,000 grant from the state paid for half of the app's cost for the 8 districts that will use it. Eighty schools should have it by the end of the school year with 200 more schools planned.