When you’re best known for designing a folding ballistic shield, it can be quite a challenge to pivot to also produce emergency alert software, but that’s exactly what Aegix Global has done with its new Aegix AIM.
Aegix CEO Chet Linton says the company’s relationships with schools that have purchased its Swift Shield as ballistic protection for students and staff along with his background in technology and education made the acquisition and ongoing development of the AIM (Active Incident Management) software platform a natural next step for Aegix.
AIM is a tool designed to improve direct two-way communication between people inside a school or other buildings and facilities during a time of emergency such as an active shooter situation, natural disaster, fire, or any critical incident. AIM also alerts safety personnel an emergency is occurring. It allows dispatchers and responders the ability to communicate with the people involved in the incident , records all messages sent by users, and provides critical information for emergency personnel arriving on scene.
AIM clients are school systems, campuses, hospitals, and other public and private entities that may be targeted by a shooter or need assistance from first responders during an emergency. Public safety agencies, including police departments, that would respond to aid the Aegix clients, receive AIM for free through the Aegix Humanitarian FoundationH.
One of the features of AIM is that first responders can access maps and floor plans of all the buildings the customer wants Aegix to include in the system. They can also pinpoint the locations of individuals in the building. “We have an interactive map of the building with details of every floor,” Linton says. “When officers enter the building, they have a live map that shows the location of people who have indicated whether they need medical attention and whether they feel safe or unsafe.”
Instantly having access to information about the building and where people need help can save time and lives, Linton says. “I was talking to one chief about maps and he told me there is a central repository of maps of all the buildings in his city, but he said it takes at least 15 minutes to find the right maps or floor plans. So when his officers arrive at the school, facility or event during an emergency, they don’t have the plans. AIM solves that problem,” he explains.
Because the maps in AIM are live, they not only show the locations of people inside the facility, they can also be updated for real-time tactical reasons, for example, when rooms have been cleared. This critical information can be limited to police-only access. Responding officers can also receive photos, videos, and other intelligence from the people in the building who have AIM.
AIM enables officers to communicate directly with people in the building. For example, during a school shooting incident, an officer can call or text a specific teacher or staffer through the AIM platform.
Because AIM is a cloud-based platform, Aegix can constantly provide new features for clients. . One of the newest AIM features is administrative approval. When someone initiates an alert showing an emergency situation is in progress, it must be approved by an “administrator” before it alerts the other people on the channel and summons emergency responders. “Several clients wanted this feature so they could eliminate false alerts,” Linton says.
Aegix AIM is in use in several hundred locations around the United States. It runs on Windows and Apple operating systems and on Android and iOS mobile devices. AIM users pay an annual subscription price. Linton says most clients sign up for five years. There is also an initial set-up fee that is based on the number of buildings that the client wants to cover.