Mohawk College spans across three campuses located in Ontario, Canada and was previously equipped with an access control system used for ingress and egress, as well as fixed and limited mobile duress. The system was successful in regard to access control, which was its intended use, but was
unsuccessful in monitoring their duress devices. The security team needed to provide staff members with duress buttons and, at the time, the only practical solution was to add the devices to the access control system currently in place. Although Mohawk did regular testing, because their duress devices were unsupervised, they had no way of knowing whether the devices in the hands of staff were functional or not. There were occurrences of staff saying they pushed their button and no one responded, but the security team was never alerted to dispatch. Further, the additional devices congested the access control system, crowded their screens and made it difficult to manage in making sure they weren’t missing anything critical. The team at Mohawk quickly realized that they were spending money every year to maintain a system that was no longer suitable for their needs.
Robert Davis, Operations Supervisor of Security at Mohawk College, shares “It was a whole change that we needed to do within our environment. Part of the driving factor for me was I had to get them (duress devices) off of our access control system.”
A Status Solutions valued business partner, Emergency Notification Solutions, recommended SARA (Situational Awareness and Response Assistant) to improve information flow for faster, more efficient emergency alerting and response management via mobile duress devices and desktop alerts. SARA is a stand-alone automated alerting system that integrates disparate alarm and communication systems for centralized monitoring, alerting and reporting.
SARA converts random alarms into detailed alerts for delivery to key individuals, select groups or entire populations via the designated devices. Once a pendant is activated, alerts immediately go to the appropriate responders – those on and/or off site – according to preprogrammed alerting protocols. Alerts include data about the unfolding situation, location and instructions based on an organization’s predefined emergency protocols. With real-time alerts delivered to the right people, they can take immediate action to find the individual that needs help whether they are in a single building or a multi-building campus.
“We can offer them a device and say ‘You carry this with you and if you have a problem you push it and we’ll find you.’ That’s a very reassuring thing for us to be able to say and people are impressed that we can say that…and the beauty of it is I can say to them ‘If you go down to our other campuses, we’ll find you down there as well.’.”
- Robert Davis, Operations Supervisor of Security at Mohawk College
Improved Reliability, Response and Redundancy
With the implementation of SARA, Mohawk College saw immediate improvements in emergency response and efficiencies. Prior to the installation, Mohawk was on a system that was not able to proactively monitor their devices. What does that mean? Well, if/when a duress button in the hands of a staff member ran out of battery, broke, etc. the security team had no way of knowing. This was a problem because when that staff member pushed their button no one was being alerted, therefore no one was dispatched to find the staff member in need of
help. With SARA, Mohawk is now alerted when a device goes offline for any reason and are able to proactively contact the staff member with that device and get the issue resolved. This ensures that everyone has a working device; if someone pushes their button the security team will receive a desktop pop-up with information regarding who and where they are.
In addition to the reliability of the monitored devices, Status Solutions and Emergency Notification Solutions worked closely with the team at Mohawk to fine-tune the desktop pop-up feature to fit their needs. When a mobile duress device is pushed a pop-up window overrules anything that is currently on their desktop screen and gives them the information they need to take the next steps. Mr. Davis explains, “We have a situation going on, we know how to respond and the guys are able to react quickly to the alerts and immediately dispatch. We can
get there rapidly and the impact it has is because of the way we’ve got it set up and the way Status [Solutions] has worked with us. The pop-up window is what’s so significant because they [the security team] can be working on something and suddenly it jumps up on your screen. You can’t avoid it and that’s the beauty of it, we don’t want them to be able to avoid it.”
“Status Solutions has been great. They’ve been making adjustments and changes to that product [desktop pop-ups] and updating it and it’s been working better and better for us.”
- Robert Davis, Operations Supervisor of Security at Mohawk College
Like many other customers Mohawk College was searching for a technology that met the criteria of what they needed at the time, in this case mobile duress, but with Status Solutions and SARA they got so much more. Status Solutions has truly partnered with Mohawk to continue innovating not only with the solutions the college currently has but with SARA overall. Technology is constantly changing along with customer’s needs, like Mohawk College. Luckily, with such a robust system, the sky is the limit. “This is why I like working with Status Solutions, we say look we’ve got an issue, this is what we’re trying to fix and this is what we need it to do. Then somebody [Status Solutions] researches it and says, ‘Okay, we’ve got a solution’…now we’re rolling that out.” Explains Mr. Davis.
Innovation is never finished and the team at Mohawk College has linked arms with Status Solutions and wholeheartedly embraced that. I’ll leave you with these words from Davis, “The fact of the matter is ultimately we’ve achieved our goal and put in place what we want, it’s doing what we need it to do and it is doing a good job. Now we’re able to start moving forward and develop that relationship further and expand out its capabilities for what we need. We already know it can do a lot of things but it’s developing that even further into fitting our needs. And it’s been a positive experience, no doubt about it.”
About Mohawk College
Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology is a public college of applied arts and technology located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It
has three main campuses: the Fennell Campus on Hamilton Mountain, the Stoney Creek Campus in Stoney Creek, and the Mohawk-McMaster Institute for Applied Health Sciences at McMaster University.
About Status Solutions
Status Solutions is the pioneering provider of situational awareness technologies with a mission to keep people informed by delivering tools for life safety assurance, security monitoring, environmental awareness and mass notification. Our customized software solutions ensure the
right information reaches the right people automatically via various portals and dashboards for faster, more efficient communication. We help organizations better collect, process, interpret and deliver their data to read, see, hear and do therefore managing risk while transforming business operations. Because RIGHT NOW matters most.
About Emergency Notification Solutions
Emergency Notification Solutions (ENS) is a value-added reseller of technology solutions that focuses on improving life safety, security, environmental monitoring and mass notification. We focus on providing cost effective customized solutions to meet customer needs that work within their existing infrastructures. We specialize in the design, installation, management and maintenance of our solutions. We believe protecting people, property and business is important.