Castpoints use case: proactive EMS in schools

A topic that is foremost in every parent’s mind is their child’s safety, (particularly while on school grounds).

Here are a few facts:
• Active shooter events have nearly tripped in the past 7 years.(2)
• The five highest casualty events since 2000 happened despite police arriving on scene in about 3 minutes (which is considered fast).
• Current communication and organization options are poor.

After 15 years of working on this very issue, I finally have a solution: An advanced, yet simple, communication system that works on any cell phone, and cuts response time to under 10 seconds: “Castpoints.”

When I talk with parents about how Castpoints could:
• Reduce a school’s overall risk.
• Greatly reduce casualties.
• Is transparent, yet protects privacy.
• Is built on the proven(3) Incident Command System, which provides a standardized approach for incident management, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity of the event.
They universally blurt, “I want that!”

A few taps on any phone to change a status to “Emergency, active shooter” immediately messages teachers, staff, parents, EMS, everyone, who then update their status and location. Now everyone can immediately, and independently, tell where the issue is, and IS NOT, and act. The key is that relationships are established BEFORE the incident, so:
• A trusted chain of command is in place.
• Frantic people do not need to ponder who and how they message. The Castpoints expert liaison structure automatically does this.
• Half of these incidents end by unarmed citizens. Now they know exactly where to go.
• Police don’t just “arrive on scene”, They also know exactly where to go.
• Seconds count: saving a minute can save 10 kids.(1)
• A campus can be declared secure very quickly, speeding help to the injured.


It’s crazy to expect school staff to correctly make intense life and death decisions in seconds while under fire with only 4 hours of yearly training. With Castpoints, there is no more, “If only I did…” Teachers don’t have to wait for central authority to make good decisions. They can act in seconds. Plus, an offsite Incident Commander, with their massive resources, can instruct school staff to get kids to safety, while directing others to confront the shooter, all within seconds.

Most incident systems are only for professionals, and cost a lot of money. Schools normally broadcast simple messages that parents can’t respond too. In a real emergency, the office will be flooded with calls. The Castpoints liaison messaging system means there is no need to call the office because the best info about a parent’s kid, and the situation in general, is already on the parent’s phone in seconds.

Castpoints can manage other incidents as well such as broken bones, earthquakes, drills, and emergency supplies (that are often out of date).

I’m wondering if you might be available to discuss this simple, free (for schools), and professional way to secure schools.

I’ll be upfront by saying that I have successfully coded 20% of Castpoints. I have done this all with my savings and free time. However, now I am at a point where it’s become essential to outsource some of the funding so I can hire help and finish this much needed system within 5 months.

This system can provide life changing results for schools that I hope one day will be incorporated into schools nation wide.

All the best, Jeff Fitzmyers, MS

Selected resources

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How Castpoints manages peer 2 peer emergency response

Simple broken leg example
A mom drops off a kid to school and then updates the kid’s location to “At School” on her phone’s browser. Everything has a chain of custody.

At recess, the kid brakes his leg. The yard duty searches for his name and updates his status to “Hurt, Moderately”, and location to “Lower Playground” on her phone. Event “XYZ School” has a role called EMS that has subscribed to status changes of “Hurt, Moderately” so they immediately get a text. They now have a lot of information. Also, the kid’s parents have been texted, since stewards can get all status changes. Grandparents, and the baby sitter that was going t pick the kid up from school are also texted.

There is also an inactive role role called Hurt Kids. One of the parties activates the role (and becomes “leader”) and puts the kid in this role. The stewards automatically are also added to this role. The leader can add other parties, like the local emergency room. Now everyone can freely communicate with privacy. Roles have a liaison function that can “promote” information. So the liaison would just acknowledge that a kid was hurt on the playground and is headed to the hospital. The event XYZ School subscribes to this liaison feed and would promote this to their public news feed.

  • This service does not need  911
  • Response time is as fast as possible
  • Responders have excellent situational awareness.
    • They know where the incident is. So if necessary, police immedaitely know if they need to manage a crows and or traffic.
    • The magnitude of the situation.
    • They are in direct communication with the kid, an adult, and his parents.

Complex earthquake example
Say an earthquake damages part of the school. Everyone who could, would update their personal status, status of their roles (classrooms, office, grounds, etc.). In 2 clicks, EMS can tell exactly where problems are and aren’t, and available resources.

Say a road is out and EMS can’t readily respond. That’s okay. They can still help manage many things from their phones. They, or anyone, would activate roles like “Initial Tasks”. These roles all have lists of tasks with costs (resources, time, people). So the leader populating that role knows how many people to add too it and already has an estimate on how long it will take. For example, one of the first tasks would be shut of the gas. The location is part of this info, so anyone can do it.

If parents are separated from their kids, that is easily managed. Other stewards can pick up the kids, and or kids can be moved to local houses in groups. There is always a chain of custody. The parents know their kids status, location, stewards, and can communicate at any time.

  • Even if no EMS participated, people can get done everything that does not require actual EMS.
  • The whole thing can be mangled remotely. If there was a lot of damage, many experts, who are already vetted, can get to work in seconds. EMS roles can be merged so that in seconds, the main Incident Commander can manage a whole region of recovery.
  • Most dister recovery have problem with creating inventories of supplies and services and dealing with volunteers (looters?). In Castpoints, all that is already present and safe. If 30 volunteers use 15 minutes to meet at a central place and get organized, that wastes 7 people hours. In CP volunteers just pick a task on their phone, update the status of the task occasionally.

What if castpoints is not yet in use at my school?
Say I’m picking up my daughter at school and a big earthquake hits. I create a new event called XYZ School Earthquake on my phone. I then search for “earthquake”. Results always have context,. I don’t want the category Science > Earthquakes, I want EMS > Earthquake Management. So I click on this category and see a list of Earthquake Management “events”. I pick the one with a high ROI for the size of my school. Immediately that whole framework populates my event. I now have roles, tasks, status localized to this situation. A few generic locations populate, and we easily add other locations as needed. Now I start adding people I know (to keep the chain of custody) to be leaders of these roles. Those leaders add members to their role and also leaders to sub roles. In a few minutes, we have already organized 20 people in a best practice way!

Current EMS systems cost $100,000+ and are managed top down by EMS.

Aggregating grades and absences, etc.
My kid was recently home sick with a 102°F temp. If our school was using this system, and was connected to the state school system (optional), which was then connected to the USA school system (optional), then the world (optional), etc… Me, not the school admin (reducing their costs), could indicate the absence and specific reason (temp 102° F). Data is aggregated once it gets beyond the role level, so privacy is protected.

People can now in realtime see the absences and reasons (barf, avg temp, etc.) at any level (school, school district, county, state, nation, world, etc.). This works for most common data: sales, inventory, soil conditions, health records, etc. This is completely at odds with (and will subvert 😉 the typical model where the aggregators own the users information. A current $100 million example: K-12 student database jazzes tech startups, spooks parents.

The fractal pattern
That is only 20% of the power of Castpoints. Anyone can easily apply this mix of simplicity, organization, and proven industry specific best practices, to manage any group of resources: People, time, business, content, goods, work.

The market
Event management software is a $5 billion industry growing at 8% / year. Emergency management software is an $80 billion market growing at 6%.