Director of Public Safety Joseph Charon has been working with BeSafe Technologies since 2009 to provide first responders with information about the layout of the campus for emergency purposes.
“[The site] can be used for something as simple as a burst pipe or something as serious as a shooter in a building,” Charon said.
The site is designed so that first responders know exactly what everything looks like in each building in case on an emergency, according to Charon.
BeSafe provides an online program where detailed information about the facilities, floor plans, unique building features and even contact information can be posted about schools. There are even pictures of the buildings and their interiors.
Among the many documents on the site, there are PDFs with campus maps, floor plans of each individual building, safety documents, classroom phone numbers, a directory and a communications plan.
“One of the most critical things to have in an emergency is up-to-date information,” Charon said.
However, the information is only accessible to designated responders and administration.
“The limited access is purposeful, because we don’t want just anyone to have access to emergency information,” Charon said. “It’s critical to maintain the integrity of the information.”
The campus was divided into three sections for this process. All the academic buildings were mapped out in 2009; the residence areas were done in December of 2010; and the outskirt buildings – such as the Shapiro House and Porter St. – will be mapped out as soon as possible, according to Charon, but this depends on funding.
Tim Harrington, director of Client Support and Marketing for BeSafe, said that the company started up after the Columbine incident, and the company reached out to Charon to see if the school was interested. BeSafe works with school across Massachusetts as well as in California and down the East Coast.
“I think it’s very important the student body knows that the campus police are doing something proactive before something happens,” said Harrington. “It’s important to have all the information in place beforehand.”
Charon said he met with the Massachusetts State Police as well as the North Adams Police and fire department last month, where he shared the software and program information, and discussed giving them access to the information.