Iroquois High School participating in pilot program focused on emergency response preparation
The school will be part of a pilot program to install the Critical 360 digital mapping system.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Iroquois High School is working to better protect its students and help first responders in crisis situations.
The school will be part of a pilot program to install the Critical 360 digital mapping system. Critical 360 gives first responders an idea of what they're walking into in the event of an emergency.
"Anything that would help save these kids’ lives would be awesome,” Sgt. William Willhoite, the commanding officer for the school resource officers in the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department said.
A company called Pictometry developed the software to provide detailed 3D floorplans of buildings. It’s already been installed in several schools and public buildings in the U.S. and Canada.
“It's a very, very detailed rendering of the building,” Scott Sherwood, Pictometry Public Safety Product Manager, said.
Using the renderings, dispatchers can give first responders directions and help them better navigate buildings. Pictometry will install the software for free at Iroquois High School as part of a pilot program, saving the Jefferson County Public System approximately $19,000, according to Sherwood.
"Iroquois was chosen simply because it is a high school,” Allison Martin, JCPS Chief of Communications said. “It is one of our larger schools so it will be a good test project when it comes to mapping the square footage."
Iroquois doesn't have a school resource officer on duty, and that's one reason Sgt.Willhoite says it will be great for the school.
"I think it still needs a lot of work and a lot of people that will be dealing with it will need a lot of training, but anything worth doing you have to work hard for,” Sgt. Willhoite said.
The district agrees the software will be a great addition, and Martin says it’s an interesting opportunity for JCPS to see if the program will enhance the safety of students at Iroquois. "We think this will be a great project to be able to learn and see if this something that's scalable for JCPS,” Martin said.
Martin estimated it would cost $3.1 million to install Critical 360 in all 155 schools in the district. "So that's certainly not something that everyone around this table is prepared to write a check for right now,” she said. She stressed a significant amount of community support would be needed to implement the project district-wide.
Sgt. Willhoite believes it can be done. “I think the city and everybody in this community can come up with three million dollars, I really do,” he said.
Pictomery plans to install the Critical 360 software at Iroquois in late January or early February. The company will first capture images of the school and that process should take about a day. The images will then be built into the 3D renderings, Pictometry says that usually takes about a month. The system should be up and running by spring.
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