The sign at the entrance to Mashwood High School in South Berwick. Credit: Google Streetview

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — A review of the new CrisisGo emergency alert system highlighted the School Administrative District 35 board of directors meeting Wednesday.

The program, which will be formally activated Nov. 26, will enable district personnel to “communicate much more quickly and in real time” in the event of an emergency, according to SAD 35 Chief Operations Officer John Caverly.

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“Real time information will be available to teachers and others so they can make decisions in the moment to keep our kids safe,” said Jeff Upton, the South Berwick Police Department’s school resource officer. “Emergency information will be received by police officers in their cruisers and they will be ready, on their way, to respond.”

Highlights of the software include a display, accessible by smartphone or tablet computers, which features a flashlight and siren that can be used in crisis situations. Another feature is a messaging center where teachers, for instance, can choose which district personnel they wish to communicate with during emergencies.

As an example of the program’s capabilities, Upton presented a screenshot of an emergency checklist used for allergic reactions. The list begins by asking first responders to look for a victim’s medical alert tag followed by contacting the school nurse, keeping the victim calm and alert, asking a school staffer to obtain an EpiPen, and how to identify signs of shock and distress.

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A panic button at the bottom of the display screen “directly alerts district administrators with the message that ‘this person is in distress,’” Upton said. Rescuers on scene can then text with emergency professionals while a built-in GPS device identifies where the crisis is taking place.

“This program will increase our ability to communicate, especially with fire, police or ambulance,” said Marshwood Middle School Principal Anthony Bourbon, who has tested the software among his staff.