Jackson Co. Schools debuts virtual map for first responders

Jackson Co. Schools debuts virtual map for first responders

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Detailed virtual maps can zero in to the very halls and classrooms of any school in the system. Detailed virtual maps can zero in to the very halls and classrooms of any school in the system.
JACKSON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

Jackson County may now be one of the most prepared school systems in the country with regard to dealing with active shooters or other disasters after a more than year-long partnership with UAH.

A lot of advanced technology, including unmanned drones, was used to make it a reality. School officials said the completion of the project will enable first responders to know what's ahead of them when dealing with an emergency.

Officials with UAH Systems Management and Production Center unveiled the completion of their project to local and state education officials Friday. Like Google Earth, every school this past summer was photographed, and a 3D image was created for the entire school system.

Icons depict locations of fire hydrants, utility shut-off valves, and evacuation routes. Other vital information is also noted. The information will now be made available to first-responders and can train with it.

Officials said nothing can stop an active shooter, much less a tornado, but dealing with a disaster quicker will save lives.

"It will make him much more informed before he responds because it's all about planning and how you get there quicker and understand what you are going to encounter," said Dr. Gary Maddux.

The information is being incorporated into the safety plan on digital emergency hub Virtual Alabama. Dr. Maddux hopes this will be a recipe for other counties and states to follow.

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