Johnny Winterbottom – are you here?
April 12, 2016 Comments Closed

Johnny Winterbottom – are you here?

Posted by:Darren Whitaker-Barnett onApril 12, 2016

Three childhood memories of our morning student roll-call ritual are cemented firmly in my episodic (long term) memory; the first one is of me responding to my name with ‘present’ or ‘Yes Mrs Anderson” and my second memory is that of the giggles that reverberated around the room whenever Mrs Anderson called out Johnny Winterbottom’s name. However the most lasting memory is that of the tricks we would play on Mrs Anderson by answering ‘present’ on behalf of a friend who was not there. What a hoot when you are 6 years of age.

The classroom roll-call would be handed to a chosen ‘runner’ student who would deliver it to the school office where it would never been seen or heard of again. With the benefit of hindsight I look back and think of the complete lack of integrity in some of our early childhood roll-calls and the potential for negative consequences without solid evacuation management tools.

The Evacuation Roll-Call

Jump forward to the modern day equivalent in the workplace, the post evacuation roll-call, and we still have extremely poor levels of integrity, despite the quantum leap in technology and widely available tools designed to help verify the safety of people.

I have been asked if Facebook’s Safety Check would work as it’s a great tool for the masses whenever a natural disaster occurs or a major tragedy is unfolding like the Paris terrorist attacks. But it is not useable by private organizations for their evacuation events. Even if it could be in the future, it would require all employees to have a Facebook account with their employer as their ‘friend’ following them.

What about roll-call or muster reports out of your access control system? These are difficult to access in a crisis situation and seldom reflect every person onsite due to tailgating, and visitors not always being issued with cards. And let’s not talk about the stupidity of having to ask a receptionist to print a report in a crisis or a Fire Marshal or Warden having to read out handwritten names scribbled by visitors into the visitor book.

So there are in fact few solutions that allow your fire drill team to easily access a single list of employees, visitors, and contractors onsite from outside the situation of risk.

So is there a solution?



This is where we should try to be objective and introduce solutions other than our own; however we can honestly say that we are world leading in what we do and others don’t currently exist. So introducing WolEvac; the mobile app that allows your Fire Marshals and Wardens to:

  • View a single list of visitors, contractors, and employee’s onsite as well as who is tagged as being offsite.
  • Push notifications out to people asking them to verify that they are safe.
  • Search for people by name, department, title, or work zone and manually verify their safety.
  • Collaborate between other users of WolEvac to verify thousands of people’s safety in minutes.
  • And access reports to view your evacuation and roll-call efficiency.

Thinking back to wee Johnny Winterbottom and the pranks we pulled pretending to be him, WolEvac will send the adult Johnny a message directly to his mobile/cellular phone asking him to verify he is safe; Johnny Winterbottom #AreYouSafe?

No more giggles Johnny.

If you’d like to learn more about WolEvac check out our video here.

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