Let's Dig into the Problems and Solutions:
Vigils are becoming common and people across the nation are crying out for protection and assured peace of mind in their schools, emergency rooms, places of worship, and work environments.
What Is Happening and Why Is a Solution Imperative:
It starts with bullying and a lack of compassion. OHSA estimates more than 2 million are affected by common workplace violence every year.1 In our schools, 6% 200,000 teachers annually are physically attached each year.2 Extreme violence occurrences are increasing; day between attacks 1966 to Apr 1999 180 days, May 1999 to Jun 2015 84 days, Jul 2015 to Aug 2019 47 days.3 At each new occurrence shocks ripple through our nation elevating the concerns of workers and students. Nearly 1 in 7 employees feels unsafe at work.1 57% of teens worry a shooting could happen at their school.4 As a response, cost trends match the increasing attack trends.5, 6. In the US we are spending currently spending $47B annually made up of $40B 85% on Services, $6B 13% on Hardware, and $1B 2% on Software. There is a clear indication safety could be more effective with the introduction of smart technologies.
Teacher Focus Group Comments on Violence:
Comments from our teacher focus group; “the shooting are in the news, although the real problem is
common violence on teachers” and “we would really like to have an officer outside of every classroom”. These are the real world concerns in schools and workplaces all across the US. By providing readily accessible physical protection and instant help alerts, the request of the focus group can be achieved and when using the advantages of IoT/GIS communication it can be achieved at a lower costs.
Complexity of the Issue:
Today’s concerns range from common physical altercations to the extreme violence of an active shooters, which then draws national attention. Specifically, workers in reception areas are at risk of violence with the concerns extending into classrooms, offices and to executive levels. Schools have the added complexity of youth involvement, rapidly changing teenager behaviors, and the vulnerability of the violence act coming from within the system.
Threats appear unexpectedly, they are unpredictable, mobile and very powerful. The extreme acts of
violence are terrible. However perhaps what is most distressing is the helplessness of the victims. These
conditions are heightening safety concerns and raising security costs at each new incident.
While addressing the problem, the urgency of the issue has forced those accountable for safety to adopt changes far too narrow in scope for the complexity of the problem and too costly long term. Adding to the difficulty; each school and business site has a unique campus designed, there are a wide range of opinions
on what the problem is and how it should be addressed. There has also been a deluge of training and well
intended innovations introduced, some of which have improved safety although the trends still continue to
A Focus on Value:
Amor At Hand takes a much broader view of the scope of the problem which is reflected in the development of our solution. Along with a focus on delivering not only improved safety, we also address the need to feel safe without the appearance of an unsafe environment and ultimately the delivery of long-term value. More effective safety and lower costs can be achieved by introducing new technologies and leveraging them to making better use of existing security resources. Please see our Value Comparison page or ask us about a customized value calculation for your site.
Prevention and Preparedness:
Prevention attempts alone falls short. We should all do everything possible to identify teens and others
that are potential threats. Although particularly in the case of teens, this is exceedingly difficult because in
some sense all teen are developing and finding their way making it nearly impossible to identify the 1 or 2 teens out of thousands that have the potential to be violent. Further the resources required to achieve the recommendations of some studies would be enormous. Even if the practice had unlimited resources and was largely successful, achieving a 50% improvement is insufficient and does not address the larger issues of being unsafe, feeling unsafe, and the inefficient uses of security funds.
Preparedness is most important, requiring staff to be equipped, well trained to help themselves and others, along with practices to see/hear something say something and knowing the inflection points.
Listen/observe and raise any concerns to others. It’s this comprehensive approach that will achieve the goals of:
1) Employee Care; our desire to protect and reduce employee concerns/fears.
2) Professional Readiness; avoid national attention nightmare, reduced law suit risk.
3) Economics; improved effectiveness of existing security resources, lower insurance premiums, reduced security costs.
4) Site Presentation; calm appearance.
Smart Shield Solution:
Armor At Hand™ manufactures IoT/GIS internet connected Smart Shields™ in the USA. The patent pending design provides cover and captures high-powered rifle rounds in the minutes until help arrives. Placed on a desktop they are disguised and instantly accessible. On movement, smart alerts are sent and help is coming. Our mobile app guides people to safety, simply follow the one big arrow or hide if X is displayed.
Shield movements and danger zone display in real-time on first responder dashboard, shorting on-scene response.
Immediate access to protection is needed in a fraction of a second to preserve life during an attack. Armor At Hand products are just that… at hand and available where people spend most of their time. Smart Shields blend into the surrounding environment in areas of risk, including entry areas or schools, hospitals, office buildings, bar/restaurants and places of worship.
Our most effective placement sits on top of a desk disguised as a desk pad or desk top calendar, simply; “Lift and Protect”. If placed on a wall as a whiteboard or art print, lift or pull from its mounts to be immediately deployed. Our strap design and the lightweight creates the mobile defense capabilities. Two-hand or one arm use is available, leaving the other arm free for locking doors or to help others to safety. Major components are produced at ISO 9001 quality certified manufacturers. Independent testing has been accomplished to an equivalent N.I.J. III level of protection stopping multiple NATO 7.62mm projectiles and with the capability of stopping lesser threats from common pistols and high-powered rifle including the AR-15.
When confronted with a threat, the best first move is to lift the Smart Shield and let it send the alert. The IoT electronics send autonomous help alerts; move one and all within the region light/buzz, alerting others of an emergency and those affected know help is coming. Our mobile app provides guidance away from the danger zone with one big arrow or if X is displayed hide and protect until help arrives. With Esri our partner, the ArcGIS operations dashboard tracks shield movements and calculates the danger zone in real-time, which is shared with first responders. First alert times are reduced and on-site officers along with first responders, now know where to go when arriving on-site, greatly reducing their response to the scene. The system is configured for each site to send alerts based on how much shields are moved, the amount of movement in a timeframe and/or with manual inputs.
Training is done calmly, with GIS digital simulations using site maps and minimal hands-on training. Simulated training on the operations dashboard is used to describe the command center overview provided to first responders during an incident. The site map shows Smart Shield movements, danger zone, and each mobile app arrow or X indications. Through various input options, several shield movements and exit scenarios are viewed on screen. These site scenarios provide a multitude of improved training scenarios in an accelerated time-frame reducing the training burden and greatly minimizing disruptions.
Its the physical and IoT/GIS electronic technology combination with mobility, that makes a difference. The combination addresses the “during incident” safety plan performance by providing an immediate defense and instant alerts for help, two key elements for any existing safety plan. Just as important, Smart Shields are a comfort for those knowing of their capabilities, while also being hidden in plain sight and quickly accessed. Staff can now have relief of concerns, improved wellbeing, and a focus shift back to productivity or in schools back to teaching and learning.
The shields are made of advanced materials having a life of 20 plus years, the disguise covers can be changed at any time, and the IoT is updated over the air as technologies advance. The result is a purely defensive, durable product, hidden within its environment, providing protection and peace-of-mind. The added benefits of improving the effectiveness of existing safety procedures and first responders along with the reduction in safety cost, sets Smart Shields above other solution. There is now assured protection and peace of mind; for parents, students, congregations, staff, and those accountable for safety.
Ask us how we can make your existing safety resources more effective and reduce costs by adding Smart Shields.