Campus Cops Corner
Improving Campus Safety with Interactive Floor Plans
Ken Hilte, March 1, 2012
During times of emergency and crisis, first responders often enter buildings with no knowledge of a building’s layout or the location of important facilities like gas lines and electrical boxes. An Interactive Floor Plan (IFP) provides this valuable, timesaving information. Essentially an interactive map containing embedded photographs and useful information, an IFP enables responders to virtually “see” a facility before even arriving on location.
“The IFP allows responders to have a full understanding of our buildings and can greatly enhance response time and safety during major incidents or times of crisis,” said Ken Hilte, chief, PPCC Public Safety.
A best practice established by the Department of Homeland Security, PPCC’s model is now fully interactive and was completed internally on a limited budget.
PPCC officers Chad Bauer and Wes Walter worked closely with Chief Hilte to turn this idea into a reality. After its completion, Officers Bauer and Walter attended a U.S. Department of Education conference related to the Emergency Management for Higher Education (EMHE) grant and presented PPCC’s IFP to conference attendees.
Both were then invited to Tarleton University, near Dallas, teamed with the American Clearinghouse on Education Facilities to help create an online tutorial so other colleges could build their own IFPs.
It’s reassuring to know that our campuses are that much more safe thanks to the initiative and creativity of PPCC’s Public Safety Department.