‘Push’ in Case of Emergency: AT&T Delivers New School Safety Solution, Powered by FirstNet, Intrado and NextGen 9-1-1

Staff Report

Thursday, August 3rd, 2023

Key Takeaways:

  • As the industry leader in delivering NextGen 9-1-1 solutions, AT&T is the only carrier that can provide end-to-end emergency communication solutions – from 9-1-1 to dispatch to response.

  • FirstNet®, Built with AT&T – America’s public safety network – now connects more than 26,000 agencies and organizations, accounting for 5 million connections1 nationwide.

  • New school safety solution, powered by FirstNet, Intrado and AT&T ESInet™, helps districts create safer learning environments by immediately transmitting critical data to 9-1-1 and first responders (without any new equipment required at 9-1-1 call centers).

  • FirstNet Certified™ Intrado Safety Shield mobile app and new Wearable Panic Button provide schools with a comprehensive set of tools to help prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from safety threats.

What’s the news? As the only carrier that can provide end-to-end emergency communication solutions, AT&T* is helping school districts better protect their students and faculty in the event of an emergency. In advance of the 2023-2024 school year, schools across the country will be able to purchase the new school safety solution – powered by FirstNet, Intrado and AT&T ESInet – to reduce emergency response times by seamlessly connecting school staff, school information systems, 9-1-1 call takers and first responders. Fully compliant with Alyssa’s Law, this new solution is comprised of:

  • The FirstNet Certified Intrado Safety Shield mobile app helps schools prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from safety threats. The app includes a silent panic alarm, secure 2-way faculty chat, digitized emergency response plans, role-specific response checklists, integration with school information systems to account for all children in an emergency and quickly reunite students with their parent/guardian, and more.

  • A lightweight, Wearable Panic Button for staff (think teachers, bus drivers and administrators) that can send life-saving situational data to 9-1-1 while simultaneously and silently notifying campus-wide personnel via haptic vibration. And FirstNet covers 250,000+ more sq. miles than commercial networks, so its benefits extend beyond school grounds to support emergencies during field trips, athletic and other events that occur off-campus, or simply during daily transportation. Plus, automated daily health checks give educators peace of mind all year long.

  • The Intrado Safety Shield portal that provides key stakeholders with a single operational view for all emergency response activities across the district. And with near real-time and automated mass notifications – spanning full-screen takeover desktop alerts to digital messages on desk phone screens – this hub unites fragmented systems and processes to help immediately communicate critical information.

New Wearable Panic Button with FirstNet. Source: AT&T

Why is this important? Keeping children safe is top of mind for everyone. School shootings across the United States continue to rise, hitting a record high last year and surpassing 180 shootings in 2023 so far. And 77% of public schools recorded at least 1 crime incident in the 2019-2020 school year according to the U.S. Department of Education’s latest report on school crime and safety. While the challenges of protecting our schools seem to be increasing, tools like the Intrado Safety Suite with FirstNet, are available to proactively reduce risk and create safer school environments. 

How is this solution different from other panic buttons currently available to schools? This new solution is more than just a panic button. Traditional panic buttons notify a preset individual who then contacts 9-1-1. We are helping school districts remove the “middleman” by integrating directly into 9-1-1 call centers – also known as Public Safety Answering Points or PSAPs – with their NextGen 9-1-1 solution like AT&T ESInet. The solution automatically works in any 9-1-1 center without adding new equipment or processes.

Plus, it eliminates the need for 9-1-1 call takers to transcribe the caller’s information by sending preset, customized information that can then go directly to first responders, turning minutes into seconds. And since FirstNet traffic is always prioritized, the incident data is protected from commercial network congestion from the moment the button is pressed all the way to reaching the first responders arriving on scene.

How is FirstNet different from commercial network offerings available to public safety? The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), an independent agency within the federal government, partnered with AT&T to deliver America’s public safety network. We look at FirstNet as the most important wireless network in the country because it’s the only network built specifically for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community who support their missions. With 26,000 agencies and organizations – accounting for 5 million connections – more first responders choose FirstNet to reliably communicate. And as first responders’ communications needs evolve, FirstNet will continue to grow and advance for decades to come. After all, no connection is more important than one that helps save lives.

Stay up to speed with the latest FirstNet news or visit FirstNet.com.

What people are saying:

Jim Bugel
President – FirstNet, AT&T

“More first responders trust FirstNet to reliably communicate because of the meaningful difference it’s making in how they protect their communities, and now we’re delivering these critical benefits to protect our children. The new school safety solution is a gamechanger for how districts can protect students and teachers, while also better equipping the first responders that serve them. With just a push of a button, schools can reach 9-1-1 faster than ever. And as America’s public safety partner, we’ll continue to advance public safety’s critical communications to stay mission ready no matter the threat.”

Jeff Robertson
CEO, Intrado Life & Safety, Inc.

“Intrado and AT&T share a common commitment to prioritizing the safety and well-being of our communities, and especially of our students, school staff and the surrounding communities and we remain dedicated to investing in technology that aligns with state and federal regulations, in order to safeguard their security.”

David R. Schuler
Executive Director – AASA, The School Superintendents Association

“We believe students are more likely to succeed in school when they feel safe. Our educators need the peace of mind that if an emergency occurs, the lines of communication will stay open when they need it the most. By having a reliable communications plan in place, schools can keep students safer, establishing a better learning environment for all."