DCU are launching the first safety app in Ireland, for round the clock connection to the campus’ security team on Wednesday the 15th of November.
SafeZone is free to download and provides staff and students with access to three emergency buttons; emergency, first aid and help. It also allows you to dial the emergency services through the app.
“The university has 17,000 students and 1,600 staff. We were looking for a way to communicate with all of these people in a quick and easy way. We wanted a way that everybody could have it and everyone has a mobile phone now so it made sense,” DCU’s Chief Operations Officer, Declan Raftery, said.
The technology was provided by an Australian firm called Critical Arc and many universities in the UK and Australia have found it very useful so far.
The app works on a ‘check-in’, ‘check-out’ basis. When you are checked in, the DCU security team knows your exact location and then when you leave the vicinity of the DCU campuses, it will automatically check you out.
Raftery stresses that this will not impact your privacy and that when you are checked-out, ‘they can’t see you and you can’t see them’.
You can input your name, student or staff ID, medical conditions and the serial number on your bike and then when you activate an emergency response, your location and ID is sent to DCU security.
The app can also be used to benefit DCU clubs and societies who go on trips abroad. It works internationally and will ring the emergency number of the location you are in and afterwards DCU will ring you directly to make sure everything is ok.
DCU Students’ Union welcomes the implementation of the app, especially after the recent assault of SU President Niall Behan.
“There can ever be enough safety measures on a campus with so many people and it makes it so much easier, especially through your phone.
There have been 1 or 2 instances this year already that I’ve been made aware of, luckily they weren’t severe, but an app would have been avoided if the app was in place,” Podge Henry, Students’ Union VP for Welfare and Equality, said.
More information on how to sign up for the app can be found at http://www.dcu.ie/occo/safezoneatdcu.shtml