BeSafe Technologies, a Centerville, Mass.-based vendor of emergency-response solutions, last week announced an alliance with Los Angeles-based Safety Alert Apps, which will provide its SafeWatch Team smartphone application to BeSafe’s clients.

The SafeWatch application lets clients automatically dial 911 and contact key personnel—such as private security, public-affairs officers and colleagues—via text and e-mail alerts, with just two taps of the app.

BeSafe’s platform is designed to replace the cumbersome and inefficient information binders that first responders—particularly those in the fire service—carry to an emergency scene. The platform delivers advanced information about a facility—contact information for key personnel, floor plans, aerial images, internal and external images, access points, and the location of critical infrastructure (such as intercom systems, utility shut-offs and fire department connections)—via a Web interface or thumb-drive.

The information is stored in BeSafe’s database and can be viewed on a full display, a tablet or a smartphone.

Facilities in the database include schools and universities, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, corporate campuses and critical infrastructure, such as utilities.

“We’re the critical piece,” said Tom MacDonald, BeSafe’s CEO. “Without this solution, you’re walking blind.”

MacDonald first got the idea for the BeSafe solution when he was the principal of a 1,000-student middle school. One day, a special-needs student began to choke while having lunch in the cafeteria. Fortunately, the school had planned ahead and numbered each of the facility’s external doors; it also had an arrangement with the local fire department that let school administrators communicate with emergency responders while en route, via two-way radios. As a result, they arrived in time to save the student’s life.

But MacDonald realized that most schools don’t exhibit this level of foresight, which is critical in life-threatening situations, when seconds truly count.

“It might seem like a minor thing, but the fact that the EMTs knew exactly which doors to enter and where to find the cafeteria saved a vital 30 seconds,” MacDonald said.

One of the key aspects of the solution is that it is interactive. Facility administrators have the ability to update information about the facility as needed. When that occurs, the solution automatically time-stamps the update, so that first responders know that they’re viewing the most current information.

“The challenge of the paper binder is that, a month after it’s created, it’s outdated, because the school put up a wall somewhere or someone’s phone number changed,” MacDonald said.