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School Emergency Alert Radio System will bring added layer of protection

Donations will help make it a reality

A system that would summon emergency help to local schools with the press of just one button is coming to Webster County.

Some timely donations by local residents will ensure that this added level of safety is available for area students.

The technology Webster County Sheriff Jim Stubbs is pushing to get into all local schools is called the School Emergency Alert Radio System. It consists of two-way radios with a big orange button on them that would be placed in schools. When someone in a school pushes that big orange button, an alert tone would automatically sound at all the dispatch consoles in the Webster County Telecommunications Center. There would then be an open microphone for 20 seconds and during that time people in the school could tell the dispatchers what was happening. The dispatchers could also hear what was going on in the background. Most importantly, they could get help on the way instantly.

The system is simplicity itself. Once it’s installed, there will be no need for school personnel to fumble around with phones, trying to dial 911. All they would have to do is push that orange button and start talking.

An active shooter is probably the ultimate nightmare for a school. The School Emergency Alert Radio System would be perfect for summoning help in such a scenario. But it would also be good for those times when someone gets injured or seriously ill at school, or for when a student gets completely out of control.

Six radios have already been purchased. Stubbs figures another 11 will be needed to equip all the schools.

While the initiative is focused on Webster County, two Calhoun County schools will also get radios. They are the Manson Northwest Webster Junior-Senior High School and Farnhamville Elementary School. Those schools are in districts that include parts of both Webster and Calhoun counties. The Calhoun County Foundation has donated $6,000 to pay for the radios for those schools.

Additional donations are welcome to help acquire the rest of the radios. Donations can be sent to the Webster County Sheriff’s Office, 702 First Ave. S., Fort Dodge, IA 50501. Please write school radios on the memo line of the check.

Stubbs has spent months working behind the scenes to get this radio system set up. We thank him for striving to give our schoolchildren this extra level of protection.

We encourage anyone who is able to make a donation to do so. Your donation may help save lives.

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