The following excerpts are from a Daily Herald Story, by Ryne Williams on Oct. 1, 2020
The Spanish Fork Police Department recently provided radios to the Nebo School District, establishing a direct line of communication for use during possible critical situations.
This initiative then sparked a greater movement throughout the entire school district, which led to all Nebo schools becoming equipped with radios.
Lieutenant Cory Slaymaker and Chief Steve Adams of the Spanish Fork Police Department presented the radios to school officials in the Spanish Fork area while also providing the necessary training.
“If the school has a situation, a critical incident or something, if they pick up the radio, they are talking directly to the officers that are out there working as well as dispatch,” Slaymaker said. “That’s not just for Spanish Fork, the entire county has that radio channel as well.”
The radio allows for back-and-forth conversation between schools and first responders, letting them know what is happening, where the incident is taking place on campus and a description of who is involved.
Instructions were included with every radio along with the training that school administrators received.
All in all, Slaymaker estimated that the radios could reduce response times to schools by two to three minutes.
“We are just so grateful because the Spanish Fork Police work with us closely,” Nebo School District spokesperson Lana Hiskey said. “They’re just always wondering how we can partner and how we can keep our schools and our community safe. This was just amazing, that they were able to go out and find donations to help fund these radios.”
After receiving the donations and training in Spanish Fork, the school district proceeded to partner with other local cities to arrange for the same training to take place with administrators throughout the district.
Hiskey added that she has lived locally for over 30 years and that most residents believe they live in a wonderful community, however, the district still needs to be prepared for a critical situation.
“I think this is a very valuable tool,” Slaymaker said. “We hope we don’t ever have to use it and the schools don’t have to use it, but if there is a situation we feel like it will cut down critical time. By us being able to have direct communication with them, things will be more clear and we can respond or resolve the situation much quicker.”
According to a press release from the Nebo School District, the district seems to be the first in the state of Utah to have this direct communication between school administrators and first responders.