In St. Charles, Mo., Assistant Fire Chief Richard Oney was inspired by the mass notification and emergency call boxes on campus at the local Lindenwood University.
More than once, area residents or travelers would pull up to a fire station during an emergency, needing help, when no one was there.
“We could be out on a call; we could be anywhere, “ says Oney. “And there’s nothing we can do for them if we don’t know they’re there.”
Now, even if no one’s home at the fire house, people in crisis can now still call for help over one of the two call boxes installed at the city’s fire stations. Connected straight to police dispatch, there would be no concern about having no one answer the phone, plus, with such clearly marked towers as the ECO TOWER™ they’re impossible to miss.
And why did he go green? “Weight, price and a quick install time,” says Oney, who had just finished personally carrying the second Eco-Tower into his conference room, with only the assistance of one other officer to balance the 10-foot-high post.
“With the footing, connections and getting all the internal settings right, it only took three hours to install,” he says. “It was a one-person job.”
Oney has many options for more of the 45-pound aluminum towers around town in St. Charles, especially at all other first responder stations, other public facilities and maybe even senior centers.
There have even been discussions about placing similar call boxes along some of the popular running and bicycling trails that cross through the area.
“If they were the normal steel towers, the ones where a whole team has to install them, I’d have a very hard time selling it.” Oney says. “But these give us a lot of options.”
This article originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of the Security magazine.