Virginia schools to digitize maps in case of emergencies

The governor signed a law that requires districts to send digital blueprints to first responders

VIRGINIA – Governor Glenn Youngkin wants parents to feel safe when children are in schools.

The governor signed a bill that requires districts to send digital blueprints to first responders in case there is an emergency.

Since the law has passed, 1,000 schools and 85 divisions are in the digital mapping program.

“Its always good to have a digital map and a plan in place,” Grayson County Schools Superintendent Kelly Wilmore said.

Wilmore said keeping children safe is a top priority.

“You can never be safe enough, never enough for the children,” he said.

For Wilmore, it makes sense to have a blueprint to help first responders in case of an emergency.

Wilmore said Grayson County schools have doors labeled.

“When they came out with the federal blueprint it was pretty much required to have your doors numbered in schools and part of the blueprint was it showed where each door was,” Wilmore said.

Governor Youngkin said it’s important first responders know how to access schools in dire situations.

“Parents should feel like their children will come home,” Youngkin said.

It’s why Governor Youngkin signed House Bill 741 which provides $6.5 million in state funding to help school districts come up with digital floorplans for schools.

Since the governor signed the law, $3.3 million has been approved for schools to have them digitally mapped.

The digital maps are used to help first responders.

“I was pleased with that legislation we can’t stop here we got to keep moving to make sure our schools are safe,” Youngkin said.

Pittsylvania County Schools Superintendent Mark Jones Superintendent said the goal is to eliminate the middle man.

The district is finalizing a deal last year with a vendor to digitize school maps for law enforcement to use.

“This allows a deputy to really have a quick picture of what the school looks like,” Jones said.

About the Author:

Duke Carter returned to 10 News in January 2022.