CORTLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – A Trumbull County school district has new tools in its buildings to help make communicating with each other and first responders easier in case of an emergency.
Lakeview’s new two-way radios look like walkie talkies but they serve a bigger purpose.
“They have the ability to have direct contact with us for police and fire,” said Patrolman Brandon Rice, the school resource officer.
Now there are 130 of these radios in the district — one for every teacher, bus driver and school administrator.
Lakeview Schools bought them with help from $38,000 from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation School Safety and Security Grant.
“As far as I know, there’s nobody else that has the ability to communicate directly with the police,” Rice said. “They don’t have to worry about cell phones, picking up phones or trying to track us down. They can just get on the radio and call us if they need us.”
Each radio has an associated ID number, making it easier to pinpoint who and where the call for help may be coming from.
“It’s a great tool to ensure that we are able to talk to each other and report on whatever might be happening in a classroom, or in a wing or in a hallway,” Superintendent Velina Taylor said.
Cortland Fire even donated their old radio repeater, which makes the school’s radio signal reach even further. Taylor said this means they can talk to bus drivers when they’re out of the district.
“It’s really opened things up for us as far as communication goes across the lake and further south.”
Part of the grant went toward putting a film on the entryway doors, making the glass bullet-resistant.
“Essentially, what it does is it makes glass less penetrable by shooting at it,” Taylor said. “It gives you time to get kids to a secure place so that the unimaginable doesn’t necessarily happen.”