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New radios add to school safety measures May 06, 2023

In the ongoing effort to improve school safety, staff in all Yuma School District-1 buildings have been equipped with two-way radios to allow for immediate communication between buildings in case of an emergency.

The system also bridges to the local dispatch center, with some of DMR radios equipped to receive messages directly from 911 dispatchers. Plus, all the district buses have a radio to allow for communication to the rest of the district, even from hundreds of miles away.

Yuma-1 Superintendent Dianna Chrisman said all of the district buildings have at least two radios, and some have three. There are two in the district office.

The radios were purchased through a School Access for Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant spearheaded by Northeast BOCES.

Motorola Solutions, a partner in the grant, has developed a two-way radio emergency communications solution with unique school-based interoperability equipment to allow schools, the district, and local emergency responder agencies to use commercial walkie talkies to communicate, when needed, to manage a school-based emergency or crisis event.

Chrisman said the radio system came on handy last week when high winds kicked up as students were being transported home. Some of the mini-buses pulled over and waited for one of the bigger buses to show up to finish the route. (Turns out the big buses do better in high winds than the mini-buses.)

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