School Safety Expert Tip – Consider Whistles for Life for Life-Saving Low-Tech Emergency Communications
As is our standard practice as an independent school security organization, Safe Havens never accepts any form of compensation in return for endorsing or recommending any school safety, technology, product or service. Though we are contacted by vendors on a weekly basis who would like to pay us to endorse their products or services, we have maintained our independent school security posture since the inception of Safe Havens many years ago.
Instead, our analysts often recommend and sometimes even endorse school security technology solutions, products or vendors that have impressed us and our clients. One such vendor is Whistles for Life. The companies’ owner sent me some samples of his rescue whistles a couple of years ago. These inexpensive and amazing whistles are designed to be heard from the bottom of a canyon or in the middle of the woods when a hiker or other person enjoying the great outdoors is in distress. This is a real and reliable method for low-tech emergency communications. Cloud-based emergency response tools, iPad access to crisis plans and other emerging technologies are great, but for instant and reliable implementation tried and true methods that don’t rely on electricity or internet access are hard to beat.
Rescue whistles can be an invaluable low-tech emergency communications tool for school crisis situations. School staff who detect danger can use a rescue whistle to rapidly gain the attention of 300 students in a noisy cafeteria, spread out in an outdoor area or facilitate response in many other situations. This can help school staff rapidly direct students to take shelter from an approaching tornado, dangerous individual or other hazard. Some school staff we speak to use hand signals, color coded cards and other visual communications methods to give updates on students and relay other information. Including whistles in this procedure is a great way to fill in the gaps where funding is not sufficient to allow two-way radios for all staff members and a simple low-tech emergency communications method is needed.
Providing each staff member with some type of reliable whistle or other personal amplification device can have benefits for other situations, not just school crisis events. Whistles can be helpful when supervising students at recess, working student drop-off or pick up duty or when breaking up fights and other altercations on campus. Many schools have used parent-teacher organization funding or donations from local vendors and foundations for these types of supplies. Some vendors or local businesses may provide these types of items at a free or discounted rate in return for the chance to gain exposure through the inclusion of their logo or name. Remember to consider the low-cost low-tech emergency communications methods when looking at the finer details of your response plans.
Whistles for Life website:
Disclaimer: No compensation was provided for this review. This is not a product endorsement but a review of a piece of safety equipment that we find useful and one option to consider as part of an all hazards approach to school safety.