EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

AEGIX Aim: Could this app be helpful during a school shooting?

Mar 30, 2023, 7:00 PM | Updated: 7:31 pm

Jessica Lowell shares her insight on AEGIX Aim, an app that allows school employees to communicate ...

Jessica Lowell shares her insight on AEGIX Aim, an app that allows school employees to communicate with each other and with police during emergencies. Spanish Fork High School in Spanish Fork is pictured on Friday March 12, 2021. (Annie Barker/Deseret News)

(Annie Barker/Deseret News)

SPANISH FORK, Utah — On Wednesday, 13 schools received false threats about an active shooter. Only one week prior, Spanish Fork High School put a new security system in place via an app.

The app is called AEGIX Aim and it helps school employees communicate with each other and with police dispatch during emergencies.

The Utah-based company is used at hundreds of schools across the country and is even used at the State Capitol.

AEGIX Aim CEO Chet Linton talked with KSL NewsRadio’s Jessica Lowell. She joins Inside Sources with host Boyd Matheson to share what she learned about the app.

Linton told Lowell his app is used to reduce chaos during scary situations.

“One of the things that drives us very intensely is the need to find innovations that can protect people and keep them safe,” he said to Lowell. “Especially anyone on the front line.”

Additionally, he said those on the “front line” goes beyond S.W.A.T. teams and members of the military.

“You look at yesterday (Wednesday) and, and all the stuff that was going on in our state,” Linton said. “Every one of those teachers and students and all the staff in those schools were on the front line.”

How does it work?

Lowell goes on to explain the app as “a complex digital version of a bank panic button.”

“So taking you back to yesterday, when Spanish Fork (High School) heard about the threat, the principal of the school pressed a big red button on the app,” Lowell said. “Then he was given the option to pick what kind of problem the school had. He picked that they were on a lockdown. And then, every staff member got an alert on their phone that there was an issue. And the CEO of Aegix says their training got teachers and staff ready for the alert.”

Linton told Lowell about the process the app follows.

“Typically, what we do is map out the facility and we have a dynamic mapping system,” he said. “So the four plans are actually live … it makes it easy for people to show where they’re at, which makes it very easy for first responders to know. Also if people are safe or unsafe. Do they need medical attention? Those are all things that are built into this.”

He said each teacher at the school had received the proper training for the app and knew what to do.

“They actually used the platform like it’s been designed to be utilized in those high, high-stress situations,” he said.

What else can the app do?

Along with this, Lowell said the app has other features. These features include a way for teachers to chat with one another during these scary situations. Additionally, it makes it possible for teachers to mark students as accounted for or unaccounted for.

“Another teacher can say, ‘oh hey, actually that student’s in my classroom right now and is actually accounted for,” she said. “So, you know … you’re getting rid of this situation of, oh the student is missing and they might be in the hallways with an active shooter which is incredibly scary.”

Lowell said Linton told her these features came in handy on Wednesday and will in future incidents.

“So, all this is going on while dispatch has access to all the communication that’s happening. They can see who is marked safe, what classrooms are marked safe,” Lowell said. “This really comes in handy when police are dispatched, because, let’s say the gym and the history class are right next to each other and both are marked as unsafe. Now, police have an idea of where to hone in their search for whatever is causing the danger in the school.”

Can parents use it?

According to Lowell, the company is unofficially working to give parents access to a different version of the app.

“[Linton] says they have to be careful though about what kind of information is shared, obviously, because it’s an active threat,” she said. “He says yesterday though, parents were able to call administrators at Spanish Fork High School. And they were able to kind of use the app by proxy.”

She said administrators at the school were able to look at a student’s schedule and then the classroom to see if it was marked as safe.

“Then tell parents, ‘oh yes, your child is safe right now and accounted for and they’re not in danger,'” Lowell said.

Jessica Lowell and Samantha Herrera contributed to this story.

Related: The search for the caller behind Utah’s 13 school hoaxes

 

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AEGIX Aim: Could this app be helpful during a school shooting?