By: Jesse M. Kelly

Patricia Eng holds an iPad while accessing the campus emergency procedures application.

Algonquin’s security services have recently launched a new application for smart phones.

Entitled Algonquin Emergency Procedures, it is meant to provide the emergency procedures in a digital format.
Patricia Eng was in charge of seeing the app through from concept to completion.

“I think the benefit of it is that students are used to looking up information on their phone,” said Eng. “We were trying to cater to that newer generation and figuring out how people go about getting information now.”

Eng said that no one asks for paper pamphlets any more, and security services was trying to find a way to engage people with the information that typically goes unread, such as emergency procedures.

Eng said that the app cost between $9,000 and $10,000 to develop from start to finish. It was developed by N-VisionIT, an Ottawa-based web design and development firm.

A first look at the application shows options for the Woodroffe, Perth and Pembroke campuses. Selecting Woodroffe campus brings you to a series of buttons.

The app provides information on emergency phone contacts, a bulletins section, which has been updated as of press time a total of three times. There is also an emergency procedures section, which outlines procedures ranging from fire evacuations to bomb threats. You may recognize these as the procedures that are posted in the hallways and classrooms throughout Algonquin.
The app also links to the Algonquin website, where students can view a detailed campus map, with a room finder feature. There is also a call security button, which provides a direct link to the security office.

In spite of this potentially useful information and features, the download rates, although steady, are insignificant.
“I don’t have any hard numbers, I know the last time we had checked we were up to a couple of thousand,” said Eng.

“That [number] I probably got about a week and a half ago.”

Devin McNeil, a second-year radio-broadcast student said he had heard of the application, but hadn’t bothered to download it.

“I appreciate the direction they’re going, because everyone uses their mobile devices quite a bit,” said McNeil.
“I just think they need a better way of putting it in people’s hands… the cost doesn’t really annoy me too much it’s just that nobody really cares about it.”

Eng said she feels people should care about emergency procedures, specifically fire and evacuation procedures, which students are used to practicing throughout grade school and high school.

Kenji Aria-Smith, an 18-year-old police foundations student feels

differently. “I don’t think it would [be] something I would actually use just because those circumstances are not normally in the foreground of everyone’s mind,” he said.

“So I don’t think I would use it regularly, maybe if something were to happen then it would be a wake-up call.”