school+lockdown1 If you have the important job of ensuring the safety of your students or staff, it is important for you to pay close attention to how realistically you can accomplish this. You don’t want to ever be in a position to think AFTER something happens, “If only we would have . . .” Your school or organization may have an “emergency plan” it can implement if needed, but having it on paper vs. putting a realistic plan in place when a situation is serious can make the difference between life and death. Did you know there is a training organization tied to a security company that trains you, your staff and if applicable, your students if there was a shooter in the area? If there was a shooter on site, do your students or staff have a way to protect themselves?   Would they know what area of the building to stay away from – or would they have a place to go that would create a protected barrier from the shooter?

Here is one for you: So many institutions or organizations have a sign posted to their windows or doors that state “Firearms not allowed in this establishment”. Did you know this is what someone who is determined to cause pain and destruction wants to see? They know this means law abiding citizens won’t have a way to protect themselves. Our goal is not to try to politicize the Second Amendment – The Right to Bear Arms – – it’s just to help protect as many citizens as possible. Did you also know that if an establishment had this sign in their building, they are legally required to verify if someone is abiding by that request? This means, they are legally required to have metal detectors at every entrance to ensure people are adhering to their request.

On June 18, 2013, Vice President Biden released new guidelines for school safety that aligns and builds upon years of emergency planning work by the Federal government.   What’s important to know: Lockdown is not enough. Simply put. The three basic options are: Run, hide or fight. It really has to come down to each person’s individual judgment if they are the one(s) who come face to face with a shooter.

There is something now called “A.L.I.C.E.” training. The training has been developed through an Alliance between the Police (IACP – International Association of Chiefs of Police) and “A.L.I.C.E.” Training to provide realistic preparedness that includes helping students and staff learn their options of how to keep themselves safe. Here is one: Rather than having a group of students “hiding” or in lockdown when they are not in a place that safety barricades them from an assailant, they are much more likely to survive if they run and, ideally, run in a zigzag motion to make themselves a harder target to hit? Our own Steve VanDyke, Business Development Executive at Fearing’s, went through “A.L.I.C.E.” Training himself to become an expert at school safety emergency plans. This, when combined with the right communication/alarm systems, an establishment has the best chance to keep their valuable students and staff protected. Steve’s has a certification with FEMA IS-00362.a, which allows him to write “Multi-hazard Emergency Planning for Schools”

When evaluating all of this, it also comes down to your communication system. Blue Point is the next generation for instant notification to both police and building occupants through use of combined solutions that includes Blue Strobe Lights and warnings that can be shared through Mobile Devices.

Bottom line: Through a realistic emergency plan that encompasses training and the right technology, you can save the precious lives that depend on you. For the same cost as fixing a parking lot, you can install a system that has the potential to save lives.

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