6 Reasons Schools Should Use Walkie Talkies

Many schools and universities have opted to use walkie talkies on their sites for communication between all the staff. Educational institutions hold the safety of all the students and staff at the top of their priority list. The key to this? Constant communication and free flow of information.

So if you are reading this blog, you are probably already wondering how two-way radios – or walkie talkies – can be of a benefit to school environments. Read on to learn the reasons why radios should be your go-to for achieving your communication and safety needs.

Emergencies in schools

There are a variety of scenarios that can occur in schools all the way from nursery to university in which rapid and unwavering communication is needed for the safety of everyone on site. From a first-aid incident, or to perhaps the worst safety concern of all for schools – an intruder on the premises.

In the case of a first-aid incident, the ability for a teacher to quickly call for a first aider without ever needing to leave the students side is imperative. It allows the student to be kept safe whilst help is on the way. The teacher at the scene is able to call for help to everyone on the channel and have a response from the closest available member of staff, rather than phone calling one adult who may be busy, not pick up the phone, or be the furthest away from the incident site.

In the scary instance of an unauthorised person on the schools premises, the quick communication that radios allow for all members of staff to be notified of such an occurrence can be a lifesaver. Whilst schools are all fitted with lock-down alarms to raise the emergency, they are manually operated from certain points, often near entrances or receptions. If the staff member is not located near one of the points when they spot the intruder, being able to notify the whole school immediately and have someone else pull the alarm, saves an incredible amount of time and allows the whole school to adequately prepare the classrooms and students for a lockdown.

Locating staff in schools

On large campuses it can often be rather difficult to locate a member of staff when you need them. Teachers are constantly wondering around the schools whether they are keeping an eye on students during breaks, or if they are a free-floating teacher with no allocated classroom.

As a student, we have all been there, looking for a certain teacher for help on some homework, or maybe just to ask a question but you can’t find them anywhere! Now this scenario is not the end of the world, but another teacher perhaps looking for a member of the schools pastoral care team to discuss the well-being of a student? This is important and a radio can allow you to cut out all the searching and locate the staff member instantly!

School trips

Taking a group of children outside of the comfort zone that is your school can be a very stressful time for all adults involved. Most schools will adopt the system of allocating a group of children to each teacher on the trip to help manage the whereabouts of everyone. But as we all know, public transport with a large group – especially trains in busy cities – can be a logistical night-mare to ensure everyone gets on and off at the same point when the trains are already packed full. However, provide every group leader with a radio, and suddenly you can all stay in contact throughout the day!

But what about mobile phones you might think? And yes, even we must admit that the capabilities of mobile phones these days are beyond intelligent. Unfortunately they rely on everyone having signal in order to keep up with that constant communication needed by teachers to keep everyone safe. Radios however – do not rely on mobile networks! Know where each group is when ever you need to know with instant and easy communication.

And what makes this even better – unlicenced radios will even work abroad! There’s no need to worry about if your international phone plan has enough minutes or texts, because the two-way radio will handle that for you!

School security

On large campuses such as universities, it is common to have teams of security patrolling the site to keep all the staff and students safe. It is important that they can communicate with one another at all times in case of any suspicious activity. With two-way radios, the security guards can have constant updates from each other whilst on one radio channel designated for themselves, and with the flick of a dial, they can communicate with other departments, such as the reception on channel 4.

In cases where privacy is concerned, schools can use licenced radios in which their radios are programmed onto a private frequency so no one else in the area could tune in and listen. Additionally, security teams often opt to use ear-pieces which transmit the communication through the piece so only the wearer can hear, rather than it being heard from the radio’s speakers.

Assistance from departments

Technology in schools had evolved greatly over the years. From the black board to the interactive board and printed booklets to paperless power-points. However, with every benefit of using technology in schools, there always comes a downfall. And that is the temperamental nature of those school boards and laptops. Every teacher knows the frustration of when your laptop just won’t project that slide show to the class. Thirty sets of eyes staring back as you try to fix it!

Inevitably the heroes that are the schools IT Department are needed to be called in. Classrooms don’t often have their own phone, so suddenly that radios becomes a lesson saver in calling which ever department it is that you need in that moment. No need to wait for them to respond to an email, get an instant answer with a radio!

Similarly with maintenance teams, you are suddenly able to contact a maintenance member to come and fix that cupboard door some over-enthusiastic students accidentally broke!

Spillage in the cafeteria but you can’t leave your lunch-time patrol post? Not a problem! Just radio down to your caretaker department and get assistance instantly!

Events in schools

School event such as open days for prospective students or Christmas shows can result in a high volume of cars arriving on site in a short period of time. Schools often lack adequate parking for these events so will use areas such as the playground, tennis courts or the field to accommodate. Volunteers on ‘car-park duty’ need to be able to talk to each other from the front entrance to the empty car park spaces to allow for a smooth parking experience for the guests.

There is nothing worse that walking out of a performance or a school viewing to find out drivers were left to their own devices and you are blocked in by four rows of cars! Radios will allow you to talk to each other and form a well-oiled parking system.

Speaking of Christmas shows, radios are also useful in the sense that the front of house can talk back stage easily and quickly to keep everyone updated on the progress of the show to ensure groups of kids are sent out on stage at the right time and to confirm that all the viewers are seated happily and ready for the show to begin!

Which radio is right for you

Each site is different so there is no clean cut way of explaining in a blog how to choose the radio that is right for your school. We strive to help you find the right fit got your environment which is why if you are looking to set up a two-way radio system for your schools premises, we can send you demos to trial or we can visit the site and test the options with you. Either way, we aim for you to be confident in your new set up. Having said that, here are a few things that you can consider when looking into radios.

  • The make-up of your site. The range of a radio is no exact science, there are many factors such as buildings and trees that can interrupt the signal of your radio waves. For this reason many people will opt to have a repeater installed. A repeater acts a middle-man stood in between two radios to relay the message further.
  • The size of your site. Larger sites often need a licenced radio which will emit more power in order to transmit signals across a large distance. This video can help explain the differences of licenced and unlicenced.
  • Safety Features. Different radios have certain capabilities that allow for an added layer of protection and safety for your school. Such as GPS tracking, man-down detection and emergency alarms.
  • Dust and water resistance. Radios use an IP rating system to determine the standard of a radio in terms of protection against dust and water. An IP67 radio is: 6/6 protection against solid ingress and 7/9 rating on withstanding water sprays and 1m submersion for 30 minutes in water.

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