IAS Awarded Patent for School Emergency Alert System

PORT ANGELES, WA -- Sept. 2007 -- Incident Alert Systems (IAS), a Port Angeles, Washington-based company, received notice from the US Patent Office that it has granted IAS broad patent coverage for its Fast Alert security system. Fast Alert, a computer-enabled, incident warning and management system, was developed in response to a recognized need to make schools and public facilities safer. IAS has taken this opportunity to launch their product nationally, just in time for the new school year.

Inventors Tom Reyes, and Garry Thompson, both of Port Angeles, developed the Fast Alert® incident management system in response to tragic events occurring at schools and other public facilities. "We kept seeing heartbreaking school shootings in the US and in other countries," said Reyes. "One commonality was the inability to quickly provide warning throughout all campus areas. When help did arrive, first responders were often 'working in the dark', having no access to current information. Good tactical response requires real time knowledge of the event as it unfolds," said Reyes. "It became clear to us that there was a need for a system to help keep our children and their educators' safe while at school."

IAS's national research and analysis of school shootings and other similar tragic events revealed two critical facts; a need for a campus-wide system to warn teachers and students of a dangerous situation in a timely manner; and a need to keep everyone including administrators, teachers, and responders, updated as the event unfolds.

The Fast Alert system provides immediate warning of imminent or in-progress life- threatening events via a secure computer network throughout any number of remote, but related sites. IAS proprietary software makes available a menu of alert options, including lockdown, evacuation, shelter-in-place and all-clear alarms.

The Fast Alert system provides users flexibility in selecting the building, or group of buildings, to which the alert is to be sent. Tone, voice, and "silent" alerts may be activated. The combination of tone and voice alerts maximizes efficiency of audio broadcasts to provide clear warnings and to give instructions that help ensure protection of life. "Having prerecorded voice alerts ensures a calm communication of the critical message without the outside influences of the current emergency," said Reyes. Users can create text messages associated with the alert to further enhance "silent" communication during the incident. These messages are available to any authorized person with access to a computer on the common data network.

The Fast Alert system can be activated by cell phone, PDA, tablet computer, laptop or desktop computer, and supports many wireless platforms. "This mobile, all platform, management capability empowers those charged with managing the emergency. They are no longer restricted to a specific location from which to provide warning or monitor the event," said Reyes. "It is common for computers to be in every classroom or office, each one providing access to the Fast Alert® network."

The Fast Alert system is effective, economical and designed for any number of emergency situations, such as: active shooter(s) on campus; flood; fire; hazardous material spill or release; earthquake; tornado; tsunami; terrorist attack or military event. Audio broadcasts and alert options are easily customized to accommodate any type of event or preexisting emergency protocol.

Founder Tom Reyes has extensive contacts with a variety of Washington, California and Nevada school districts that plan to install the Fast Alert® system on their campuses. The Fast Alert system has proven to be so successful and useful, both during Beta Testing and in initial installations, that Washington State is moving forward with a grant program to help fund additional installations of Fast Alert into their public schools.

In addition to schools and universities, the IAS Fast Alert system can be easily installed into government buildings, nursing homes, hospitals, airports, large office buildings, seaports, military installations or any other "campus" type environment that is connected by a common network. The IAS Fast Alert system is designed to integrate with preexisting industry-standard intercom/paging systems and data networks currently installed in most public and private facilities.

The Fast Alert warning system can be installed in several configurations, the most common being integration with an existing intercom system with a connection to the data network. In cases where there is no access to an existing or compatible intercom system, the Fast Alert warning system can be installed with the addition of amplified speakers to cover the site. By utilizing infrastructures already in place, the Fast Alert system can be introduced as a retrofit upgrade at a very low cost.

The modular design of the system allows organizations to start small and strategically expand as budgets permit. The Fast Alert system is easily configurable to accommodate additional buildings or zones later included in the network, without the need of additional software or user retraining.

IAS's Patent Attorney, Jacques Dulin of Innovation Law Group, Ltd. Sequim, WA, commented that the Fast Alert system patent application was strategically drafted to cover System Hardware, the Method of Rapid Initiation and Propagation of Alerts and the Rapid Alert Application software. "I am very pleased with both the speed and the results of the patent process," said Reyes. "We look forward to the grant of pending patents in Canada, Europe and Israel." Dulin added, "We are all very delighted that the US Patent Office recognized the importance of this case for public safety, and acted on it in a timely manner. Kudos to Tom and Garry-their invention deserves broad coverage and recognition."

It is the firm belief of the company founders that where the Fast Alert warning system is installed, it will demonstrate its ability to increase security, improve emergency response, save lives and minimize injuries during critical incidents and natural disasters.

More information: www.iasglobal.org