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CriticalArc’s SafeZone helps provide round-the-clock safety reassurance to students and staff at the University of York
Security staff across campus have put SafeZone through exhaustive trials for more than a month
The SafeZone system allows security or first aid personnel to pinpoint the location where help is needed

The University of York launched CriticalArc’s SafeZone on the 8th January to provide round-the-clock safety reassurance to students and staff. York is the first University in the Russell Group to roll out the simple-to-use, free application designed to help those on campus to summon security or safety assistance via their mobile phones.

The SafeZone system allows security or first aid personnel to pinpoint the location where help is needed.  It also provides students and staff with a way of summoning general assistance swiftly from the Security Services help desk through a simple tap of an on-screen button.

Nearly 20,000 students and staff will be able to access three main features using SafeZone -- emergency, first aid and general help. Emergency and first aid options will bring security or first aid officers to the location of the call, while the general help button connects directly to the Campus Services Helpdesk. The SafeZone system will also help the University send targeted notification messages to students and staff in the event of an incident in particular areas or buildings on campus.

Security staff across campus have put SafeZone through exhaustive trials for more than a month and the University will stage a series of roadshows this week to explain how students and staff can sign up for the app. SafeZone works within designated zones covering Heslington West, Heslington East, the King’s Manor and the University Boathouse.

Denis Fowler, the University’s Director of Health and Safety said: “Our campus is already very safe but SafeZone gives students and staff extra reassurance that assistance is no more than the touch of a button away.

“The system allows us to monitor the positions of security personnel and first aiders so we can deploy them swiftly and efficiently to provide assistance and support where necessary.  Previously, in the event of an emergency many students automatically called 999 but SafeZone™ provides a more targeted method of summoning assistance on campus.”

The University has worked with the developers of SafeZone, Australian company CriticalArc, to introduce the system.

Darren Chalmers-Stevens, EMEA Director, CriticalArc, said: “SafeZone’s adoption at the University of York is testament to how it can revolutionise the way education institutions manage their day-to-day security and safety operations, while ensuring a safer learning environment.

“SafeZone provides security teams and first responders with the right information quickly, to improve their ability to react to situations efficiently and appropriately. By providing an unobtrusive security application versus traditional physical security equipment, we’re empowering the University to mitigate risk and improve brand reputation through enhanced duty of care, while gaining significant efficiencies through the improved deployment of manned response teams.”

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