The district sent out a request for proposal in December 2006 and after a competitive review, awarded the contract to Prepared Response Inc. in February 2007 to install Rapid Responder in the district’s elementary, middle, high school and administration buildings.
The Rapid Responder program provides first responders with critical facility data allowing them to respond faster, in a more coordinated manner with other agencies, and with enhanced situational awareness to better protect both students and staff. Rapid Responder runs on laptop computers and allows first responders to instantly access more than 300 data points, including tactical plans, floor plans, aerial and geospatial imagery, interior and exterior photos, staging areas, hazardous materials quantities and locations, utility shut-offs and evacuation routes for virtually any school facility. Local first responders met with school officials and others during orientation meetings in early spring to collaborate and discuss response plans for the district.
“The federal grant, the work of Prepared Response and of course, the help and cooperation of all our area's first responders, will take our district to a new level in terms of security and safety in case of an emergency,” said Dr. Bruce Gestrin, assistant superintendent of Joint School District No. 2. “This has been a great opportunity for our school system."
The Rapid Responder system currently is installed in more than 8,900 buildings nationwide, including 1,700 school campuses. Rapid Responder has proven highly effective in actual incidents, including a shooting incident at a Washington state high school where a gunman was isolated in 12 minutes and over 2,000 students were evacuated offsite in less than 20 minutes.
In addition to Meridian, Rapid Responder has also been installed at the Coeur d’Alene School District in Idaho.