One American-born innovative former rabbi who relocated to Israel, Yoni Sherizen, decided to create a “smart panic button” that would hopefully revolutionize the way first responders are able to react to school shootings, terrorist events, natural disasters, and other tragedies.
The smart panic button includes sensors, a microphone, and a camera, and then when tragedy strikes, someone can activate the system either through pressing a button or through a mobile phone app, and first responders will have direct access into the site of the emergency, including the camera views to see what is going on and more accurately gauge their response to the situation.
“We have developed a hardware and software product for an active shooter situation or other public safety threats,” Sherizen told The Times of Israel, further stating that inspiration for his product derived from a terrorist attack in the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv where he noted it took over ten minutes for first responders to show up at the site. The nightclub shootings in Orlando, Florida, USA occurred a short time later and cemented Sherizen’s desire to come up with this product somehow to help minimize the time it took for emergency responders to arrive at a scene. His product is marketed through a startup company called Gabriel which is based in Tel Aviv.
“These kinds of incidents generate chaos, and a key to saving lives is how people on the ground respond in the first few seconds of the unfolding events, even before the police arrive,” Sherizen elaborated.
So far, schools and Jewish community centers are responding favorably to the technology, and several have already installed the smart panic button in their institutions. The high-tech security product is also marketed towards synagogues and churches.
“We wanted to create something not only easy to use, but also to install. There are military-grade or government-grade platforms on the market but you can’t start a discussion for less than $200,000 for a serious solution.” Sherizen stated according to the Jerusalem Post.
“Our starter kit costs $10,000. Depending on the size and makeup of the community building, it would cost between $20-30,000 to fully outfit the location,” Sherizen explained. “We have made it very affordable. This is a game-changer for the lock-down and active shooter drills that are now a standard part of any child’s upbringing in the States.”
No one tool may completely diffuse all potential cases of active shootings and other safety issues in schools, synagogues, other places of worship, or the workplace, the system is reactive rather than preventative, and other steps need to be taken in conjunction with this system, hopefully this is one more tool that may help make emergency responses more efficient.
Written by Erin Parfet