Classic and New EMS Mobile App Comparison
Learn how the classic and next-generation mobile apps differ in features and functionality.
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Features Common Between Both Classic and Next-Generation EMS apps:
Binders and Flip Charts:
We always advise that flipcharts be kept short and concise for districts. EMS administrators can manage these flipcharts on EMS Web. Call lists can also be found here and attached to a flipchart via EMS web. A User can dial out via the mobile app for whoever is on the call list.
Similar to the features on EMS web, both apps allow for PDF prints of maps, floor plans, MOUs, and board policies. Ideally, the creation of binders is made through EMS Web.
In settings, you can see your current notification statuses, make notification preferences, test notifications, and choose which locations you wish to receive notifications from.
In notifications, be sure to enable sounds, badges, and alerts to verify that you receive all critical information during an emergency. For the next-generation EMS mobile app, users now have critical notifications being pushed through their iPhone’s silent mode to produce an alert, similar to an Amber Alert.
Additionally, to opt-in for email and text notifications, you must log in to EMS web and activate these notifications online on the user page.
Testing and Critical Alerts:
Users can choose which alarms to send out. The district can control and set these alarms. These are personalized by icon, title, and noise on the EMS Web alongside options for drilling and training alarms. Default alarms come fully equipped with the app, but this feature is versatile and allows you to build other alarms for your district. EMS administrators can also turn off drill/training mode if they wish for users to have fewer options when activating emergencies.
In an alarm, you can choose an Emergency Type. You can select which sites the emergency/drill is taking place and send a school-wide message that all phones will receive. To enable an emergency, click Start Emergency.
Both apps have the option to account for students and staff by name directly on the app.
The chat option is a general chat to send updates, photos, and converse. This will not send notifications to users’ phones. In the new app, users now have the option include pictures or voice-chats in the chat function.
You must reunify students with their parents after the emergency. You can choose a site and start a reunification based on the emergency. Users can switch between roles of Student Check-In, Parent Check-In, and Reunifier. EMS admin have a fourth option to select Command Overview for an advanced view of the reunification process.
You can select different roles depending on your assigned task. Teachers and staff will all play different roles in the reunification process:
When checking in students, you can determine which class it is based on the class roster. Users can account for students by clicking on check-in. This icon appears in line with the check-in parent and reunited options. You can also check in all students on the roster at once, and this will mark all students on the list as checked in and accounted for.
For the parent check-in in the next-generation EMS app, you can automatically see if a parent is tied to student(s) if your district has included this information from your Student Information System (SIS).You can also add the parent on scene if they are not in the system regardless of app version and you can view how many students are attached to a parent. When you reunify, you can confirm all the student and parent information and click Reunited. This will end the process for the student, and you can continue to reunify the remainder of the students.
The user will monitor the student/parent matches and confirm a student is reunited with their parent(s).
Admin can see the dashboard overview of the reunification process. In a high-level view, this is used to monitor what is happening. In this function, a user can see the student/parent check-ins, monitor history logs, and receive important notifications. Admins can also view exceptions to monitor students who are not on scene or removed from the scene.
As an administrator, you can END REUNIFICATION.
If the respond is still going on and you END REUNIFICATION- it will end the respond Alarm as well. If the reunification is done, the emergency alarm is complete since all students are reunified.
A mobile app will not tell you where to go and what to do; it will only make this process EASIER. Reunification is human lead. We encourage districts to drill this process regularly.
Additional Features of the Next-Generation EMS app:
Along with the features mentioned above, the new EMS app also comes equipped with new features such as the ability to have users dial 911 from the alarm dashboard, send quick alert messages, and have a seamless reunification process directly from the app.
In notifications, ensure Critical Alert is toggled ON. This will go through your phone’s settings and play the alarm sound even if your phone is locked or on silent mode.
Quick Alert Message:
The new EMS app allows users to send out quick alerts to keep every user informed about the situation. This will send out a notification to users as a banner on their phones for updates on any alert.
In the dashboard of the next-generation EMS mobile app, users can mark themselves safe, not safe, or not on the scene. Additionally, you can select a Class Roster. As an administrator, you can see all the district’s rosters. As a teacher, you can see your class roster and other teachers’ rosters.
You can also create a custom roster. This allows you to create a student roster if students are away from their regular classroom setting. This way, you can still account for every student in the building. When completed, click Submit roster.
Due to accessibility permissions, EMS administrators will have insight into the overall accountability of the school population. Once teachers, students, and staff are checked in, admins can see the total number of individuals accounted for increase directly on their app dashboard.
As users are accounting for students, the student names will be checked off on the right-hand side. If a student is missing, other teachers can account for the missing student within the app if they know the student’s whereabouts.
You can see the class level in which students are being checked in, how many classes have been submitted, and teachers who are marked safe. This feature also works for teaching staff and non-teaching staff members. If, for whatever reason, a teacher is unable to account for their class roster, other users are able to complete the roster for them in the app. Additionally, you can account for visitors who have checked into the school via VMS on the visitor roster.
In the dashboard, you can view who was accounted for, see the chat log, view any comments or notes regarding the emergency; and once the emergency has ended, it will send out a notification that the emergency has ended, and the app will go back to normal.
In the next-generation EMS app, districts can add guardian contact information from SIS via Clever or Classlink. They also have the option to manually enter this information.
The new EMS app can optionally sync student guardian contacts. A district can add in student parent contacts for reunification instead of manually recording each parent as they arrive to pick up their student. The app will also pre-populate known contacts; parent check-in users can then simply select the parent who arrived, instead of typing in all their information.
Drills & Assessments:
To set up district drill settings, Administrators must log in to EMS web.
The mobile app allows you to log your drills and assessments. No district-wide requirements are made on the app.
This is a checklist for safety objections and walks users through a series of questions. Districts can create their own questions, or they can have them imported from EMS web. You can “like” or “unlike” questions, add photos, or create notes throughout the assessment on each question. These features allow for feedback or serve as a reference point for future drills/emergencies.
A district can create or import templates on EMS web and publish it. On the mobile app, users now have the option to walk around with their phones and complete versions of the template. Assessments can be completed on the fly and users benefit from being able to use their phones to add pictures/notes in real-time.
This feature is only available on the next-generation EMS mobile app. After a district sets up drill requirements for the school year, end-users can document their drills on mobile.
On the new EMS app, you can record the results of a drill. You can record the site, the year, the schedule, and the drills that need to be recorded. This allows an administrative user to easily log a drill on the go. You can also schedule and add drills by saving them to a schedule.
Whether you are using the classic EMS app or the next-generation EMS app, there are plenty of features that you can access to ensure you are taking the necessary steps for emergency management on a school or district level. At Navigate360, we suggest districts and schools work together to ensure all users utilize either the classic mobile app or the next-generation mobile app to establish the same user experience.