Case Study - Nova Scotia Community College

Deploys SARA for Integrated Alarm Management and Mass Notification

Opportunity

Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) is upgrading its life safety and security systems to reduce risk and improve the safety of students, staff, property and other assets spanning 13 campuses. Working with IT consulting firm Interaccess Consulting for project planning and management, a risk assessment and review of information management, facility operations and communication infrastructure was conducted to identify gaps and opportunities plus address priorities and integrate systems. A request for proposals was issued for a technology solution to centralize and automate alarm monitoring and alerting/incident management, including mass notification, without having to rip out and replace legacy systems.

“Our emergency preparedness and response system is operationalized with the SARA enterprise system that delivers information in real time so the right response plans can be enacted quickly and correctly.”

– William (Bill) Strubank, Manager of Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Service 

Solution

VistaCare Communications, a Status Solutions certified reseller, was chosen as the systems integrator, and a SARA system was deployed as part of a technology trial at the Institute of Technology campus. During this initial test, SARA proved to be a reliable, flexible and scalable platform for emergency alerting and mass notification, interoperating with existing alarm and communication systems. NSCC now is implementing the solution at its other 12 campuses.

Based on specific scenarios, SARA delivers automated alerts with instructions to campus security, emergency responders, executives and other personnel, plus students via numerous communication end points, including wall boards with horns and strobe lights in industrial areas. Emergency pull stations and mobile duress pendants given to personnel summon help immediately, including enacting automatic lockdowns. Physical security has been enhanced with sensors on perimeter doors and critical infrastructure areas, and fire panels have been integrated. Environmental monitoring includes temperature and humidity sensors in server rooms, temperature sensors in food stores, and building controls integration to monitor HVAC systems, boilers, water pumps, etc.

Results

  • Enhances student and staff safety/well-being
  • Provides greater situational awareness to reduce response times to critical incidents
  • Improves risk management through mitigation, containment and avoidance
  • Increases level of property and asset protection
  • Improves coordination and collaboration with emergency responders – fire, police, EMS
  • Streamlines reporting due to improved situational awareness and available data/evidence
  • Positions the college for compliance to changing regulatory and industry standards
  • Maximizes the investment in legacy systems
  • Reduces risks and safety issues, especially for personnel required to work alone and at night
  • Increases the effectiveness of security operations
  • Reduces costs for contracted security services