UTSA implements Cooper Notification solution

Cooper Notification, a platform of Cooper Industries, has announced that the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has selected Cooper Notification’s WAVES (Wireless Audio Visual Emergency System) Mass Notification System (MNS) for its outdoor campus emergency notification system. Through the WAVES MNS, campus public safety officials can broadcast targeted voice alerts via "Giant Voice" to students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Cooper Notification will install four WAVES High Power Speaker Arrays (HPSAs), commonly known as "Giant Voice," on the UTSA’s 1604 Campus for exterior voice alerting, providing emergency notification to the 600-acre academic campus. In an emergency, the HPSAs will broadcast a siren alert, followed by a live or recorded voice message tailored to the situation. The intrusive system sends out the emergency messages in real time and has the capability of alerting the entire campus or individual areas depending on the scope of the emergency.

"UTSA is building a rigorous, multi-layered and multifaceted notification system," said Donovan Agans, UTSA Director of Business Continuity and Emergency Management. "Because of the broadcast range of the 'Giant Voice', the intelligibility of the messages and the intrusiveness of the system, it is the right choice for the 1604 Campus." UTSA hopes to have the system installed by Sept.1, 2008.

The HPSAs function as an integral component of the WAVES system controlled by the Integrated Base Station (IBS), which issues commands and provides data messages to the WAVES transceivers, relaying the messages to the HPSAs. The system will be integrated into existing voice-alert fire alarms inside buildings and wirelessly activated from the IBS. As additional buildings are equipped with voice-alert fire alarms, they will also be integrated with the system.

The campus will have remote access to WAVES through WAVES Web Connect, allowing the regional control capability as well, permitting the campus public safety officials to view the status of the MNS and trigger pre-recorded messages through an Internet connection off-campus or from anywhere other than the primary IBS. For regional control capability, WAVES Web Connect will also allow UTSA to communicate simultaneously to multiple campuses that have a WAVES MNS.

Research is underway to install an MNS on UTSA’s two additional campuses- UTSA Downtown Campus and UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures.

To prepare the UTSA and surrounding communities for system testing, the university will work with apartment complexes, neighborhood associations, businesses, media outlets, the San Antonio Office of Emergency Management and other officials to provide information on the new system and an installation and testing timetable in the upcoming months.

UTSA serves the San Antonio metropolitan area and the broader region of South Texas from three campuses, including the 1604 Campus, Downtown Campus and UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures. UTSA has an enrollment of more than 28,500 students and 5,000 faculty and staff, and is the second largest component of The University of Texas System. The 1604 Campus, which is the first UTSA campus to install the WAVES MNS, consists of 24 buildings on 725 acres.

Cooper Notification provides critical, campus-wide emergency communications for universities across the U.S., including George Mason University, James Madison University, University of California-Santa Barbara, several University of Maryland campuses, University of New Hampshire and University of Southern California.

"It is our priority to ensure each campus is prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster. Whether you have a small, contained college campus or a large university system with multiple locations, we can meet your campus needs. We are proud that UTSA has chosen our MNS solution, enabling UTSA safety officials to rapidly alert the entire campus and surrounding community, and efficiently control response before, during and after any type of emergency," said Ken Camarco, President, Cooper Notification.