Story County school administrators to receive two-way radios, training from law enforcement

Isabella Rosario
Ames Tribune

All 26 K-12 public schools in Story County are set to receive two-way public safety radios by the end of this week, according to the Story County Sheriff's Office.

Each school will be supplied with one radio that runs on the StoryComm public safety radio communications network, Capt. Nicholas Lennie told the Ames Tribune. 

"The radios will be strategically placed in the school to serve as an immediate notification to 911 dispatchers and first responders (in the event of) an emergency such as a violent intruder," Lennie said via email. 

School administrators will receive written instructions and in-person training by Story County law enforcement agencies when the radios are delivered, Lennie said. Districts also have the option to purchase additional radios.

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Each of Story County's 26 public school buildings will be provided with one emergency radio, examples of which are shown here.

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A "single button press" on one of the radios will alert other schools, first responders and 911 dispatchers of an emergency, according to a news release from the Story County Sheriff's Office.

"The deployment and use of public safety radios in our schools will improve response time while providing our first responders with real-time information as they arrive on scene," Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald said in the release.

Local schools did not formally apply to receive the radios, Story County Sheriff's Office communications commander Nic Briseño said.

Area fire and emergency service agencies recently received new two-way radios from Story County through grants, according to Briseño, and the radios for schools are leftover from those allocations. 

"We just made the decision that this was a good application of those funds and put those radios in the schools' hands for their use," Briseño said.

Isabella Rosario is a public safety reporter for the Ames Tribune. She can be reached by email at irosario@gannett.com or on Twitter at @irosarioc.