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WILLOUGHBY, Ohio -- In an effort to further improve the safety of the district the Willoughby-Eastlake School District has implemented a new emergency response safety system in all district buildings, including 11 high, middle and elementary schools, two early learning centers and a career academy.

The system, known as NaviGate Prepared, was developed by Lauren Innovations, a company based in New Philadelphia, Ohio. It is designed to prepare and assist school officials and first responders before, during and after a crisis. Using cloud-based technology, NaviGate Prepared securely stores important emergency preparedness plans and associated information, such as call lists, personnel photos, building maps and more. Additionally, it allows for the integration of floor plans, live security camera feeds and reunification procedures.

"After just a few weeks of having the NaviGate Prepared system in place, we are already realizing the added value it brings to our district," said Steve Nedlick, Director of Operations and Security, Willoughby-Eastlake City School District. "As we imported our data into the system, we updated our emergency operations plan and thanks to NaviGate Prepared, that update included revisions to all building floor plans. Each floor plan is now current with the schematics of the building so if an emergency were to occur, first responders can view exact locations of emergency resources, exits and so on to best resolve the situation."

Highly secure, NaviGate Prepared offers the district's authorized users and area first responders, including 911 dispatchers, immediate, real-time access to a school's imperative safety information – from any Web-authorized device. No matter the severity of the situation, NaviGate Prepared ensures necessary safety information is accessible, even if a building is not.

"As government officials, it is imperative to continually assess how to improve or refine our emergency response procedures in the school setting, especially when faced with unspeakable tragedies like Chardon and the 2008 incident at our own Willoughby South High School when a 15-year-old student fired two rounds of ammunition in a hallway," said Richard Bonde, Mayor of Willowick. "Due to the innovation of this technology, our police force can devise a response strategy based on real-time information before they even arrive on the scene."

Follow WKYC's Education Reporter Kim Wheeler on Twitter: @KimWheelerWKYC

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