Stacy Jax is a former substitute teacher for the Baraboo School District in Wisconsin, who was so affected by the spike of school shootings that have occurred in recent years, she wanted to make a difference in preventing these tragedies from happening again.
“Years ago I was praying for the victims of Sandy Hook and going through solutions in my mind,” says Jax. “I thought, what if you could create a fire alarm that listens for sound and then puts out a notification on top of that?”
Jax brought her idea to the Madison-based software development company Acumium in February 2016, and has since been working to create the Trinity Gunshot Alarm System. The technology behind the system is quite simple, and works like a fire alarm. Sensors are placed throughout a building and once the sound of a gunshot is detected and confirmed, the system triggers a building-wide alarm, while simultaneously notifying emergency responders. The system’s sensors can distinguish gunshots from other loud noises, and even pinpoint the gunshot’s exact location, which could assist law enforcement entering a building to confront an unknown threat.
Sauk County Sheriff Sgt. James Hodges tested the alarm system at an indoor shooting range, where the technology demonstrated its ability to distinguish the sound of gunshots from other noises. Depending on where a firearm goes off in a building, it might not necessarily sound like a gunshot.
“It would be like having smoke in a room, but you don’t know it’s smoke,” says Sgt. Hodges. “That’s eating up precious time that a person could use to take some sort of action that’s necessary to get themselves safe, or to get first responders to the scene.”
Jax believes the Trinity Gunshot Alarm System could also help better prepare substitute teachers and other school staff members unfamiliar with active shooter protocols.
“You’re not as familiar with those situations,” says Jax. “Having an alarm system that can trigger awareness so people know what to do will help everybody secure their safety.”
Jax says the next step in developing the Trinity Gunshot Alarm System will be securing additional funding to create a five-sensor system. Jax hopes to test the alarm system when the local courthouse conducts active shooter training this coming spring.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)