MCS Fire & Security wins university MNS contract

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Monday, November 26, 2012

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—MCS Fire & Security, based here, recently announced it won a contract to upgrade the fire alarm system at Texas Christian University and use it as the backbone of new mass notification/emergency communication system.

The company secured the contract in June and expects to complete the project at the university, located in Fort Worth, by late 2013 or early 2014, Ray Gilley, president and COO of MCS, told Security Systems News.

“This goes beyond just being a fire system. This is a complete campuswide emergency notification system,” Gilley said. “Both inside every building as well as on the outside … there would be emergency notifications of weather, incidents like shootings, anything that would put the students’ lives in jeopardy. … There will be speakers inside every building as well as outside so if you’re on campus, you’ll be able to hear the emergency notification, and then there’s also a texting and emailing part of it. So it's a comprehensive emergency communication system.”

Gilley said the system will stand out because it has “voice evac on the inside as well as the outside. … in all of the buildings, both inside and campuswide, you’ll be able to hear the emergency notification as it’s happening.”

The university has more than 8,000 students and its campus spans several city blocks.

Gilley said that an Edwards fire system is the backbone of the system. “EST [Edwards Systems Technologies] is our strategic partner,” he said.

Jonathan Roark, the university’s director of emergency preparedness and business continuity, said in a statement: “The addition of this state-of-the-art emergency mass notification system to our campus will significantly enhance TCU’s ability to transmit lifesaving information to our students, faculty, staff and visitors in the event of an emergency situation on campus.”

In addition to its headquarters here, MCS Fire & Security has offices throughout Texas, in Dallas, Houston, Austin and Corpus Christi, Gilley said. The company has about 150 employees and fire work constitutes about 50 percent of its business. It serves thousands of commercial, government and institutional clients and offers design, installation, monitoring and service.

Mass notification/emergency communication is a growing part of its business, Gilley said.

“We are one of the few companies that have Safety Act Certification from [the Department of] Homeland Security,” he said. Projects that MCS has done have included some petrochemical high-security operations, other schools and large companies, he said.