DHS, Public TV Station Team on Simulated School Shooting Response

Thanks to the datacasting muscle of a local public TV station, the Department of Homeland Security and state and local officials conducted a "successful simulation of a well-coordinated response to a school shooting threat."

The shooting simulated was hosted by the Adams Central Community Schools in Monroe, Ind., involving school administrators and teachers—students were not on campus at the time.

PBS 39 (WFWA Fort Wayne), which serves Adams County, supplied the datacast stream, which was used to send critical information from the simulated incident to first responders and public officials. That included live video, school blueprints and more. 

"Datacasting’s 'one-to-many' communications architecture makes it possible to send huge streams of information quickly to an unlimited number of law enforcement officers and first responders without risk of the congestion and system failure often associated with cellular networks during emergencies," said Americas Public Television Stations.

“The willingness and dedication of Indiana and Adams County first responders, as well as DHS partners and performers, has facilitated the development of innovative technology that will help the nation's first responders become better protected, connected, and fully aware to maintain the safety of American lives and communities," said DHS Science and Technology (DHS S&T) Program Manager Cuong Luu.

“America’s Public Television Stations are proud to be a partner in today’s successful simulation of a well-coordinated response to a school shooting threat,” said APTS President Patrick Butler. “When a school shooting happens, every second counts. Today’s exercise shows that public television’s datacasting capabilities can share critical information with first responders on the ground quickly and efficiently, saving time and saving lives. Today’s historic event is another important step forward in public television’s growing mission of protecting communities and keeping Americans safe.”

DHS S&T has been collaborating with APTS on various pilot projects using datacasting to aid in public safety, including flood response, missing persons rescue. APTS says public stations have also used datacasting to help in crowd control in Washington, boost 911 response in North Carolina and improve earthquake warnings in California.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.