Wilkes University Enables Emergency Communications System Effectively

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Wilkes University uses Iwatsu Voice Networks' emergency notification system to effectively warn campus of recent incident.

We issued it because we believe in transparency and protecting our campus. EMA allows us to do this in a very efficient and effective manner. In the past we would post flyers on academic and resident doors. We still do that but there is a time delay in this method. It takes a lot longer than using the EMA system.

Wilkes-Barre, PA / Wilkes University, an independent institution of higher education based in Wilkes-Barre, PA, has successfully used Iwatsu Voice Networks' Enhanced Messaging Application (EMA) as a proactive measure in response to a recent on-campus crime. Campus security stepped ahead of rumors and unnecessary alarm by using the emergency communications tool to effectively manage a potential security threat and quickly restore calm to the campus community.

In the October 2007 incident, a Wilkes University assistant football coach was stabbed in the abdomen by a man he found rummaging through his car. The coach suffered a minor stab wound and was taken by ambulance to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital for treatment.

"After immediately receiving all the incident's facts, we activated EMA -- our urgent alert system, to deliver text and voice alerts to the campus community," says Wilkes University Associate Director Marketing Communications Christine Seitzinger. "Federal law mandates us to communicate any possible threat to the campus community. That's why EMA is such a great tool because it's our most effective way to quickly distribute information and penetrate it deeply into our campus community."

EMA is a hosted interactive communications and notification system used by school districts and municipalities. The solution, used for urgent and emergency campus communications, provides notification and communication of activities to students, faculty and staff, delivering focused information to each. EMA provides true 360-degree communication allowing urgent information to be distributed or accessed using common technology, the telephone.

"We used EMA to disseminate a voice announcement describing the individual and to immediately call the police if sighted," says Wilkes University Director Campus Support Services Christopher Bailey. "During this incident, we supplemented text messages by asking residents to go to the campus web portal or call the InfoLINE for current details.

"We didn't send out this message because of a law," adds Bailey. "We issued it because we believe in transparency and protecting our campus. EMA allows us to do this in a very efficient and effective manner. In the past we would post flyers on academic and resident doors. We still do that but there is a time delay in this method. It takes a lot longer than using the EMA system."

"One of the lessons learned from Virginia Tech is the way bureaucracy and policy hinders communications," adds Seitzinger. "It significantly delayed the ability local police and the people who had the situational awareness to rapidly communicate with others at risk. There were a lot of policies and procedures they had to exercise to get an emergency notification out. Using the EMA solution solves that problem of a delayed response."

EMA augments Wilkes' already robust emergency communication procedures which include mass emails, phone hotlines, a web-based news delivery system and many emergency phones in campus buildings with direct dialing capability to the public safety office.

Wilkes' University purchased EMA from a local telecommunications and security provider, Newberry Services of Pittston, Pennsylvania.    

About Iwatsu Voice Networks
Iwatsu Voice Networks (IVN) provides leading edge business communications solutions to small and medium sized business (SMB). The Iwatsu Enterprise Suite provides cost effective call processing, unified communications, speech recognition, call reporting, in-building wireless, campus networking and text-to-speech applications that are typically used by Fortune 1000 companies. IVN is a subsidiary company of Tokyo-based Iwatsu Electric, a 70-year industry leader and pioneer of many firsts in the telecommunications industry, doing business in North America through over 250 authorized business partners.

About Aizan Technologies
Established in 2000, Aizan Technologies offers hosted enhanced voice solutions to a huge spectrum of customers focused on fast and secure communications. The company's solutions include Hosted Contact Centre, Preemptive Network Call Routing, Network Telephony Load Balancing, Queuing, Emergency Messaging, One-Number-for-Life and Business continuity solutions. Industry leading 360 degree communications are provided via carrier class centers on Aizan's national network using the company's own leading technology. For more information, please visit http://www.aizan.com.

Iwatsu Voice Networks Contact:            
Teddy Mahan                        
972-929-0242                        

Aizan Contact:            
Rob Nevin
905-784-4814

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