UWindsor first educational institution honoured
WINDSOR, ON, Feb. 28, 2012 /CNW/ - A campus-wide notification system
intended to keep the UWindsor community safe and informed in an
emergency while providing real-time information sharing with public
safety agencies won accolades at a recent Canadian Association of
Chiefs of Police Conference in Toronto.
The Microsoft Technology Innovation 2012 Award (MTIA) was presented to
Sgt. Chris Zelezney and Campus Police Director Mike MacKinnon for a
project that was lauded for providing, "new ideas demonstrating
creativity and innovation in using technology to help in the
advancement of policing, specifically for front-line service
Zelezney, the University's emergency management coordinator, and his
team worked with software consultant Cynthia Weeden, CEO of
FutureShield Inc. and UWindsor's IT department, to combine mass
notification, emergency operations, mapping and situational awareness
software to provide a seamless emergency protocol for the campus in the
University's Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and corresponding
regional, provincial and federal first-responders.
"We wanted to put together a program that was multi-dimensional,"
Zelezney says. "Not only do we provide instant mass emergency
notification to all registered users in the UWindsor community through
text messaging, email, cell and home phone messaging, but the system
has cameras that can monitor the progress of pre-determined evacuation
routes and medical triage sites. We also have the ability to provide a
common operating picture for emergency responders that includes GIS
mapping, plume modelling software, and information sharing that can be
accessed by authorized users from anywhere in the world."
Zelezney says that a live international public safety exercise in
February 2011 allowed such public safety partners as the Windsor Police
Service, the Detroit Department of Homeland Security, the OPP and
various Windsor-Essex County emergency operations centres to test
regional communications among their agencies for the first time.
"We had a vision that our campus implements a comprehensive safety and
notification program," Zelezney says. "And it was through this vision
that we developed a tool that has grown in scope to be a model for
national and international public safety efforts and the first of its
kind for an educational institution. We were honoured to receive the
MTIA award and doubly honoured to work with first-line emergency
agencies in providing service to our community."
Founded in 1963, the University of Windsor has close to 16,000 full-time
and part-time students. The University of Windsor's mission is to
enable people to make a better world through education, scholarship,
research and engagement.
SOURCE University of Windsor
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