Athens and Limestone County teachers have an app to alert police of active shooter


Some local school officials are fighting back by using an app that alerts authorities during an active shooter situation. That app can potentially mean the difference between life and death.

It’s called the Rave Panic Button and when the app is used, it alerts the Athens-Limestone County 911 Center immediately.

All it takes a half a second for teachers and staff in Athens and Limestone County to notify the 911 center in the event of an active shooter at a school.

“What the rave panic app does is it not only gives us a way to deal with an active shooter and a way to alert people but it also has for emergency situations,” explained Rusty Bates, Director of Safety for Limestone County Schools.

That includes a medical emergency, a fire, police call and any type of emergency through the 911 center.

“It will actually send in app alerts, it will send out a blaring alarm tone to all the other devices in that school system and it will also of course call us, call 9-1-1,” said Brandon Wallace, Athens-Limestone County 911 Director.

Not just anybody has access to the app. “If you download the app you have to have the code, once the administrator gives the code to the teachers they have to be approved through the app. So that way it gives us a level of security knowing that not everyone knows what’s going on in school and only those who need to know know,” said Bates.

“Push and hold for a second and a half, then it’s going to ask do you want to dial 9-1-1,” explained Wallace.

The app was put in place two years ago. It’s just one part of the Limestone County Schools three layer system to insure safety.

“We have an SRO in every school, that’s our first step, then we have save defend boxes which gives the teachers the ability to fight back in case of a problem so those are two layers then the Rave Panic Button is our third layer,” Bates said.

The Limestone County Courthouse and City Hall also has access to the app.

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