Case Study Public Schools
Vernon Public Schools
In 2012, Vernon Public Schools in Connecticut, upgraded the district’s communications systems utilizing the DMR (1) standard. The system provided uses PD782 portable radios and linked RD982 repeaters. The investment in this state-of-the-art digital platform has improved school communication efficiency and better secured the safety of the faculty, staff, and most of all, young students.
Vernon Public Schools is comprised of 7 separate school buildings and 1 administration building serving approximately 3000 students. As with any school district, administrators place the security of all individuals as their highest priority; a challenging task considering the number of people spread across eight different facilities. While active shooter scenarios make for terrifying headlines, they are indeed rare occurrences when compared to other school emergencies that also require rapid response. Fights between students, accidents on playgrounds or at gym, disastrous weather-related events (storms, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes), fires, and health scares (allergic reactions, asthma attacks) are all incidences school administrators face regularly. Also, with hundreds of people passing through the campuses daily, effective crowd control is essential to maintaining order. Add to that large events, such as sporting competitions against rival teams, that pose additional challenges to administrators managing school operations.
The key to providing for maximum emergency readiness is clear, unobstructed communication allowing for rapid response. Large campuses present coverage problems and dead zones where two-way radios may fail. Also, many antiquated two-way radio systems are not interoperable with those currently used by first responders including police, EMTs, and firefighters. The radios used on today’s campuses must be professionalgrade, light, durable, reliable, and contain enough battery power to last all day. To meet the coverage requirements posed by eight different facilities spread across a town of eighteen square miles, and a cost effective solution,
Hytera and the district worked together to provide a single system that allowed for seamless operation both at individual buildings and across the entire district.
Hytera PD782G two-way radios were selected for their dual modes that make them compatible with digital and analog systems currently in use. To ensure interoperability (2) with emergency first responders, the PD782G provides for an emergency channel. As the previous system was analog and could easily be monitored by unauthorized individuals with inexpensive radio scanners, addressing security was important in the upgrade. The PD782G encrypted two-way radios prevent unauthorized monitoring of communications that may have confidential staff and student information (3).
The PD782G is user friendly and durable, making them perfect for the demands of daily use in a school environment. Exceptional Li-ion battery life ensures reliable, longlasting performance so that operators can carry the radios all day on a single charge. While currently not being utilized, the PD782G has an GPS option, and integration with data applications, allowing users to track personnel carrying the radio (4).
In addition to the radios themselves, two repeater sites were installed and outfitted with RD982 repeaters. Having two sites allow for better coverage than with the previous system and eliminates dead spots (5). Now the Vernon Public Schools has blanket coverage and crystal clear voice communication across all eight facilities.
School administrators praise their Hytera communications system for its ease of use, cost effectiveness, reliability, technical support, and especially interoperability. Currently, Vernon Public Schools is looking to further expand its communication efforts with Hytera’s XPT Digital Trunking System allowing for additional capacity (6).
The collaboration between Vernon Public Schools and Hytera has proven immensely successful, and will only improve as the company remains dedicated to providing the latest and most cost-effective communication solutions to the district, as it does with all clients. Hytera is a growing enterprise that is leapfrogging competitors and gaining greater market share within the industry. With five Research & Development centers located all over the world, the company aims to reinvest 15% of revenue into R&D so that Hytera is well positioned for future technological advancements.