A mobile app which provides safety information and emergency procedures has been unveiled this year in order to make it easier for the Algonquin community to view emergency procedures and safety tips.
The app is called Mobile Safety and is free to download on iTunes or Google Play. It is geared towards anyone who is a member of the Algonquin community, whether staff, student, or parent of student. Its mandate is to provide awareness of student safety and keep the Algonquin community updated on any emergencies or safety issues around campus.
The app is more of a toolbox for students in case they want to get information regarding anything safety or security related around campus. For example, under the Emergency Contacts tab there are buttons the user can simply press and the phone will automatically call either the security services desk at Woodroffe campus or 911.
As well, the app allows the user to call the security office easily, receive security bulletins, find their way around campus or report suspicious activity
“I like how they are trying to keep the students safe,” said Taylor Date, a student in the public relations program. “It’s a really useful app.”
One of the most important functions that the app employs is that it provides updated emergency bulletins through push notifications right to the user’s home screen on their phone.
“If there’s a fire in B-building and you had a class, if you’re walking from C-building you can see that there’s an issue and you won’t go into the building,” said Patricia Eng, the security supervisor of emergency communication and information systems, the person who was in charge of getting the app created.”
“It keeps everyone up-to-date,” she said. “You can also get a bulletin saying the building has been cleared and it is safe to go back. It keeps everyone informed and that’s what we want to be able to do.”
It was developed by Toronto-based app development company App Armor, and was produced at a cost of around $15,000 with a monthly fee of $300 for tech support. The money came from the Women’s Campus Safety Grant provided by the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities, money which is used to fund initiatives which promote and facilitate safety on campus.
The app also has maps of all three Algonquin campuses in order to help students find their classes, functions which allow the user to take pictures of suspicious activity and send it to security services, tips for staying safe at home, school, or online, and a function which turns on the flashlight of a user’s phone if their mobile is equipped with one.
“I think it’s great for someone new to campus,” said James Birchall of the public relations program. “I think the flashlight is cool and I like the campus map. I also think it’s a good idea that it lets you contact emergency services easily.”
Be aware, the app does require the user to be connected to Wi-Fi in order to have full access to all of its functions.