INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - It's software that'll help when every second counts.
The Indianapolis Division of Homeland Security unveiled a new program Wednesday, officials say will help them respond more efficiently to schools during emergencies.
Using software they used during the Super Bowl, called Digital Sandbox, officials are creating a database for all schools in Marion and Hamilton counties.
The database will give first responders instant information about schools – floor plans, tornado plans, and emergency procedures.
It's the first of its kind in the country, and Perry Township is the first district to get on board with the program.
It allows each principal to log on securely, and update their emergency plans.
"It's a matter of seconds and minutes we're gaining by this, because we're not having to wait for somebody, not having to search for something. It's all right there in front of us," said Gary Coons, Chief of the Division of Homeland Security.
"This would be an avenue for us to have that information not 20 minutes later, not an hour later, but within the first minute an incident like that occurred," said Major Ted Fries, with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
It's information that's instrumental, they say, after a tornado.
"Look at Moore, Oklahoma, where it hit the school directly, during school hours. Where would those kids be? So we can start searching that area," explained Coons.
"If you have an active shooter, and someone's called in and said, ‘I'm in room 202,' well, where's room 202?"
Officials also can see every single school on another map, and see police calls in the area.
"To be able to pull up information about our school, to know exactly where students might be, I think will save us minutes, vital minutes, for the safety of our children," said Dr. Tom Little, Superintendent of Perry Township Schools.
Officials say they got the idea as they were starting to go through school plans to check for vulnerabilities.
This is all in the beginning stages. Officials say the initial software was purchased with federal grant money.
They're now working on adding all schools to the system in both Marion and Hamilton counties.
24-Hour News 8 is told other schools across the country are now considering programs like this one, as well.
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