Governor Maggie Hassan visited Beech Street Elementary School today, where she joined superintendent Dr. Debra Livingston, Mayor Ted Gatsas and local first responders for a briefing and demonstration of upgrades made to the school's intercom system. Beech Street, along with every other school in the district, installed new intercom and telephone equipment which enhance communication capabilities in the event of an emergency.
The upgraded systems are digital, battery-protected in the event of power loss, and use voice-over-internet protocol. Among the featured enhancements:
o Classrooms within a building can communicate with each other.
o The school office can visually see which classroom is calling.
o Classrooms can call 911 directly, and dispatch will know exactly where the call is coming from.
o Schools can implement the series of audio alerts which notify anyone in the building to the nature of an emergency based on the tone; similar to fire drills that are practiced on a regular basis, our students, faculty and staff will know proper procedures for varying situations.
During the demonstration at Beech Street School, students from a kindergarten class showed Governor Hassan what they have practiced in case of emergency, including how to call the school office for help with the push of a button, and how to dial 911 from the classroom phone on the wall.
The improvements, totaling about $148,000, were funded in part by a federal Emergency Management Performance Grant managed by the Department of Safety’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, along with a matching technology bond from the city. Manchester School District works closely with local first responders on continually improving emergency preparedness.