More schools and businesses using Punch Alert app to report emergencies

App helps students alert emergencies
Updated: Feb. 21, 2018 at 5:40 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There's no question - safety is on everyone's minds.

From shootings to medical emergencies, experts say getting the right information to the right people is critical and life saving.

"If you can create a more efficient way to communicate both within an organization and with the police, think about all the time you can save and that time is the critical barrier" said Greg Artzt of Punch Technologies.

Punch Technologies launched the app, 'Punch Alert' in 2014.

Artzt said "the reason behind starting it was incidents like Sandy Hook and incidents we saw in Florida last week and looking at the state of 911."

The folks with Punch Alert say since the school shooting in Florida, they've been getting a lot of calls about their app.

If an organization is using the platform, employees or visitors who have the app can report an emergency to the organization and police.

Artzt says "you open up the app, you hit the red button."

Users can choose from list of incidents, text, voice message or take a picture of the incident.

"The internal responders within the school and organizations that use – can manage those incidents, communicate with each other, make some key decisions right on their smart phone," Artzt said.

Schools, churches and businesses are on alert for active shooters. Security experts say getting the right information to right people quickly can be life saving.

"The sooner somebody reports it, the sooner the safety team can then communicate, lock down, decide what the best action is," Artzt said.

Punch Technology says some schools, community colleges, all YMCA's, several businesses and organizations in the Greater Charlotte area are using the app.

Providence Day School in Charlotte says their 300 employees have punch alert.

"We've been very fortunate on our campus that we have not had any emergencies but we practice it in all the drills that we hold," Kenna Powell said.

Powell, who is director of safety and security, says Providence Day School still uses cameras, public address system, walkie talkies and emails to get word out if they need to.

"When you bring all those users together on one platform you have one voice, one consistent message and it has helped us tremendously," Powell said.

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