Santa Rosa Schools Implement New School Safety Mapping

Posted on January 26, 2024 by Staff reports

Across Florida’s panhandle, school districts have chosen to partner with Critical Response Group, a company specializing in emergency preparation and response, to map their schools to improve responses to emergency situations. Most recently, Santa Rosa County School District, Gulf District Schools, Jackson County School District, and Jefferson County Schools. 

The new safety mapping system is a part of grant funding provided through House Bill 301. Through this bill, public schools across Florida have the opportunity to install a new map system with aerial imaging that can be communicated to any first responder. The bill responds to a need for schools to have accurate layouts, ensuring all public safety agencies are oriented by the same map. 

Critical Response Group will provide each school district and all first responders with a comprehensive overview of the crucial physical details of each school, such as entrances, exits and terrain, for effective navigation. 

The integrated nature of this safety system ensures local law enforcement, 911 centers and paramedics have access to and work directly with these maps to streamline first response efforts. 

“Florida’s grant program has emphasized the need for these maps to be compatible with any software. This is an excellent addition to the bill because it ensures each public safety agency can work from the same information regardless of how they are getting to that emergency location,” said Critical Response Group Chief Operating Officer Alex Carney. 

Carney shared that Critical Response Group used similar maps overseas when entering unfamiliar territories. Despite differences in training and language, everyone was able to effectively communicate using these maps. 

In addition to Santa Rosa, Gulf, Jackson and Jefferson, neighboring school districts in Okaloosa and Taylor counties are actively implementing this system throughout their public schools to improve first response efforts for any emergency.