Using the Mitel Emergency Notification Application

May 23, 2019

It has become increasingly important over recent years for our schools and businesses to have rapid, accurate response to emergency situations. Your phone system plays a critical role in this as a point of mass communication. Internal communication of emergencies can be just as important as the external call to emergency service dispatchers. With the need for better internal communication options rising, we would like to take the opportunity to showcase an application from Mitel that can address many of the needs and concerns surrounding emergency communication.

The VoIP PBX Challenge

As technology evolves, we are constantly presented with new challenges for creating solutions that fit into a flexible world. Your Mitel MiVoice PBX has many options for deploying phones across multiple sites and geographic locations and even more options for how your phones dial out from those areas. This creates a few key hurdles.

Relocating IP Phones or User Profiles

Unlike days of old where a phone was hard-wired to a station port, IP phones can easily be moved between classrooms, buildings, or even schools by anybody without reprogramming the system. User profiles can also easily be moved between physical phones and locations. If a user’s phone is normally associated with one address, and gets moved to another, and places an emergency call, emergency responders could show up at the wrong location.

Location Identification in a Campus Environment

In a campus environment, a single physical address can represent multiple buildings, wings, classrooms, and thousands of phone users. When a user calls internally the only thing displayed the receiving end is their name and extension; no location information is passed. When seconds count in an emergency, this is a huge problem.

The Solution

The Mitel MiVoice on-site unified communication system can be paired with the Mitel Emergency Notification application for situational multi-channel alerts. To help ensure a coordinated response during critical and emergency situations, the Mitel Emergency Notification application enables staff to generate broadcast alerts and communicate in real time, ensuring instantaneous notifications and communications that help mobilize key personnel.

Key Benefits

  • Enhanced Crisis Response

    Respond quickly to a crisis-oriented event and communicate clearly to employees and stakeholders.

  • Improve Transparency

    Generate real-time call logs of all ‘code blue’ and emergency call-related activities.

  • Informative Site-Specific Alerts

    Both emergency and code blue alerts include physical location and site details, in addition to caller information, enabling geographically dispersed organizations to coordinate in-house first responses for developing situations.

  • Wide-Range of Coverage

    Continuously monitors system trunks for any and all emergency calls, including the support of international and multiple external emergency numbers.

Features

Situational Alerts

Multiple alerts can be defined to address a variety of situations ranging from emergencies (ex. 911, lockdown, hospital code alerts, etc) to non-emergency alerts (ex. teacher assistance, cleanup request, additional cashiers, etc). These can be configured to alert only key staff during each individual type of event across multiple media.

Phone Alerts

When an event is triggered, the application can be configured to call both internal and external phone contacts based on the type of event and the site of the emergency call.

Screen Pop Alerts

When somebody dials 911, the system can be configured to “pop” alerts on predetermined computers throughout the District. The alert will show all pertinent information related to the call, the extension number, user, and additional information about the physical location (building, classroom number, etc.). Designated recipients can be preconfigured and based on the location of the 911 call. This allows staff to meet emergency responders and direct them to the appropriate location. The alerts can be configured to be “acknowledged” by staff. Where seconds are critical, this really is an absolute must for schools.

Email

In addition to screen pops, emails can be sent out to designated recipients with all pertinent information. Note, out of the box, the ShoreTel system can be configured to send emails based on specific event codes. A 911 call is considered an event in ShoreTel. This is the “poor man’s” version of ShoreTel emergency notification.

Pre-Recorded Announcements

Last, the system can be programmed to call specific extensions or external numbers and play a prerecorded or text-to-speech announcement. The announcement contains all pertinent information regarding the site and location of the 911 call. Like the screen pops, recipients can be configured based on where the call was made. For example, if a 911 call was placed from Riley Elementary, screen pops and calls could be programmed to alert the front desk, the principal, and the District Safety officer at another location. These calls can also be required to be acknowledged. These can be played to 3rd party paging systems and directly interface with the Mitel Enhanced Paging application.

Conclusion

Effective, accurate, and timely emergency notification is critical. In conjunction with applications like the Emergency Notification application, there are also many options for configuring how 911 calls behave within your PBX. We offer additional informational resources regarding 911 configuration in your system and our recommendations. The technology and methodologies used vary depending on many factors including campus size, number of locations, number of students, staffing, and of course budget. That said, this isn’t a part of your telecommunications solution that should be low in priority.

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