Two-way radios are both highly beneficial and necessary components of school communications for a variety of reasons. Equipping staff with two-way radios makes schools more organized, more efficient, more prepared in an emergency, and thus, more safe.
6 Reasons Why Two-Way Radios Are Needed in Schools
Instant communication during a crisis- In urgent situations, the ability for instant contact makes two-way radios the most effective means of communication. During medical emergencies, critical maintenance issues, and security breaches, no one has the time to dial a number, wait while it rings, and potentially have to call again. In addition, under certain circumstances cell phone networks are not reliable. With two-way radios, vital personnel are on-call at all times throughout the school day.
Easier communication with a group- The one-to-many functionality of two-way radios makes it easier for a group of people to stay in touch. Teachers, office administrators, maintenance staff, and even crossing guards can conveniently be connected all at once to have a group-wide conversation if need be. In addition, if mobility is restricted for safety reasons (such as the case with a lock down), teachers and other personnel can communicate easily and reliably from their respective positions. With the right range, you will constantly be in contact with each other.
Keep things running smoothly- Two-way radios are perfect for maintaining order at hectic bus loading zones, playgrounds, assemblies, sporting events, and field trips. They bring a much needed peace of mind to otherwise chaotic events, because they enable you to have more organized and coordinated operations.
Easy to use- With just the push of a button enabling shared communication, two-way radios are even simpler than cell phones. As with any new device however, people must still get accustomed to using them. Personnel may need some training so that in case of emergency they know exactly how to use the radio and don’t waste any time, which is why drills are recommended and a standard procedure for most schools.
Cost effective- Two-way radios are the most cost effective solution for the kind of communication they offer. They don’t require ongoing monthly service fees like cell phones, you can’t go over your minutes, and they don’t use data. So you have the same capabilities as a cell phone without the recurring charges.
Campus-wide coverage- Even if you have a very large campus, two-way radios are still effective. With the right technologies in place, you can increase the range of a two-way radio to expand across many miles. Campus safety will be even more assured without any dead zones or static spots.
Two way radios have long been an essential tool for schools with uses in directing traffic, connecting administrators and staff, maintenance, janitorial, and more. In recent years, however, radios are becoming even more critical as part of emergency preparedness plans and as a tool to respond to safety concerns. Many schools are even assigning a radio to each classroom as a way for staff to communicate in the event of a safety or emergency event.
The type of radio needed will vary based on the use. A small, low powered radio may be sufficient for short range applications, such as directing traffic, but for communications within a school building a two or four watt radio is recommended. Most schools use thick concrete for walls, which is difficult for the signals of weaker radios to penetrate. Single channel radios are adequate for many situations, but multi-channel models may be helpful if you have several groups that need to have separate communications.