UofL installs emergency phones in classrooms


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville has enhanced its emergency message system, UofL Alert, by installing more than 200 emergency phones in the largest classrooms on its Belknap and Health Sciences campuses.

    The Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones have been installed in classrooms that typically seat 20 or more students.

    Most UofL classrooms are not equipped with conventional phones. The VoIP phones can accept incoming emergency messages as well as outgoing emergency calls.

    “We learned from our drills as well as from real emergencies that we needed a better way to get the word out to our classrooms,” said Dennis Sullivan, UofL’s emergency management director. “The VoIP phones work exceptionally well because they flash and broadcast an emergency message at the same time.”

    Although the university also uses cell phone text-messaging for emergency communications, that tool has limitations since students typically keep their cell phones turned off or on silent mode during class. Nearly 13,000 students, faculty and staff subscribe to the UofL Alert cell phone text messaging service.

    The additional VoIP phones, plus wiring and installation, cost about $150,000.

    Cindy Hess
    Cindy Hess has more than 30 years of experience in communications, marketing and investor relations, including more than a decade at UofL. She is "sort of" retired but happy to come back to the Office of Communications and Marketing to help with special projects and assignments.