A solution to establishing accurate dispatch locations in university campuses is to implement Rave Guardian. Although Rave Guardian uses the same E911 technology to make cellular 911 calls, the personal safety app for students includes features that can result in 911 call takers having more accurate information about where a student is located. These include:
Call Campus Security
Unlike calling 911 from a smartphone, the Call Campus Security feature works in the same way as commercial location-based service applications and gives campus security personnel the student´s exact location. If campus security personnel are unable to deal with the emergency (possibly because the student is off-campus), they can pass the location immediately onto 911.
Personal Safety Profile
With Rave Guardian, students can create Personal Safety Profiles that are only seen by 911 call takers. Students can add information to the profiles such as the subjects they study, which building their dorm is in, and the venues where they prefer to chill out. The contact details for friends and colleagues (see “Guardians” below) can also be added to the profile to help locate missing students.
Safety Timer Feature
The Rave Guardian Safety Timer feature enables students to leave a message on their mobile about where they are going, and set a countdown timer for the length of time the student expects it will take them to reach their location. Should the countdown timer expire, the student´s Guardians are notified, who can then access the message and the location of the mobile device via GPS.
Connect with Guardians
The Rave Guardian app allows students to add friends and colleagues as Guardians. These should be people on whom the student can count on in the event of a non-emergency incident. It is also recommended the campus security team is also added as Guardian so it receives notifications when the Rave Guardian Safety Timer expires.
It is not always possible to make phone calls in emergency situations, and - although the anonymous texting feature has been designed to anonymously text tips of suspicious activity - it can also be used to call for help silently, as each text is geotagged to identify the location of the suspicious activity. With one click of a button, students can silently summon help and reveal their location.
Future Technological Advances Could Improve the Situation
Rave Guardian may not be the perfect solution for establishing accurate dispatch locations in university campuses but until future technological advances resolve the issues of locating a mobile 911 call from inside a building - especially a building using a DAS system - it is the best currently available.
Furthermore, the features of the Rave Guardian personal safety app for students have many valuable uses beyond establishing accurate dispatch locations in university campuses that can raise personal security awareness and connect students directly with the university´s security resources.