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News

Emergency notification for Virginia colleges

Cooper Notification : 23 May, 2008  (Application Story)
Emergency SMS and voice messages can now be broadcast to students and staff at Virginia colleges as part of campus safety initiatives.
Cooper Notification has announced that 17 additional Virginia Community College System (VCCS) colleges have launched the patent-pending Roam Secure Alert Network (RSAN) for emergency notification, joining Northern Virginia Community College, which launched its system in August 2007. Through RSAN, campus safety officials on each college campus can now send targeted alerts via email, text and voice messaging, and other delivery channels to students, faculty and staff.

The 17 VCCS colleges include: Blue Ridge Community College, Dabney S Lancaster Community College, Danville Community College, Eastern Shore Community College, J Sergeant Reynolds Community College, John Tyler Community College, Lord Fairfax Community College, New River Community College, Patrick Henry Community College, Paul D Camp Community College, Rappahannock Community College, Southside Virginia Community College, Southwest Virginia Community College, Tidewater Community College, Virginia Highlands Community College, Virginia Western Community College and Wytheville Community College.

Each campus launched RSAN independently. Parents, alumni and friends of the university can also sign up for RSAN at no charge by visiting each corresponding web site. The remaining five VCCS colleges have pre-existing contracts with other providers, but will have the opportunity to install the RSAN solution when those contracts expire.

"Given VCCS' commitment to the safety and security of our students and staff, we chose RSAN-a reliable emergency notification system that will reach our students anytime, anywhere," according to Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System.

"The launch of the emergency notification system fulfills one of the recommendations called for in the report of the Chancellor's Emergency Preparedness Task Force report," said Neil Matkin, Vice Chancellor, Virginia Community College System. As a leader in the emergency notification industry and a strong presence in Virginia, we are confident RSAN will help keep our students, faculty and staff better informed during an emergency," said Matkin.

The web-based RSAN system supports over 18,000 messages per minute and automatically delivers real-time information and alerts to email, pagers, cell phones, BlackBerry, desktops, voice calls, indoor and outdoor speakers and more. Alerts can be generated from a single web interface, or using a mobile device. The systems are hosted in highly secure, fully redundant data centers for optimal performance and easy maintenance and support.

"Alerts can be sent to each individual campus using their individual RSAN systems, and information can be shared automatically with all the participating colleges within the VCCS via the Roam Secure Information Exchange (RSIX)," said Rick Tiene, VP of Homeland Security Solutions, Cooper Notification. "The VCCS deployments will also be integrated with the over 30 existing RSAN systems at major cities, counties and other colleges across Virginia that are connected via RSIX and the Virginia Statewide Alerting Network (SWAN). The Virginia Department of Emergency Management manages the SWAN, which was the first statewide alert and information sharing system deployed in the United States."

The VCCS includes 23 colleges on 40 campuses located throughout the state. This year, the VCCS has an enrollment of more than 240,000 students.
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