The State of Colorado’s Legislature allocated $4,857,354 for the SFY 2019 School Access For Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program. The SAFER Program enacted by SB18-158 provides funding for interoperable communication hardware, software, equipment maintenance, and training to allow for seamless communications between existing school communications systems and first responder communications systems.The program has awarded twelve local education providers for this competitive funding opportunity, including Durango School District 9-R.
“This has been a long-time goal of the District to continue to enhance our channels of communications, specifically in emergency situations, so that we can increase our efficiencies and response in coordination with local responders,” says Dan Snowberger, superintendent at Durango School District 9-R. “We are very fortunate to have incredible supports for these efforts, both internally and externally, increasing our safety measures this way and in many other ways too as a direct result of that focus and work.”
The District will receive $521,711 to purchase the equipment and enact the training with staff in order to integrate the system into the existing Emergency Operations Plans. The funds are available beginning in 2019, and the District plans to go to work immediately in getting this system up and running in the schools.
“We are truly fortunate to have such amazing relationships with our local responders and our state Senators and ambassadors, like Senator Coram, who understand the safety needs in our schools and help prioritize them throughout the state and the community,” says Kathy Morris, coordinator for Security and Safety at Durango School District 9-R. “It’s these kind of coordinated efforts in our communities that will make a positive impact on the safety of our schools and our community.”