ARIZONA — First responders put their lives on the line at school shootings — and see the sad aftermath of what a gunman can do.
But now, first responders are offering school districts a simple device to help students survive when a shooter attacks.
It's a sad sign of the times but it is something we have to think about all the time now: the idea of an armed intruder going into a school, or some other place and doing as much killing as they possibly can. Now, locally there's a very simple idea to help make the schools safer.
A fire hose is a strong, simple life saving tool. After years of high pressure use it’s retired. But now old hose has a new way to save lives. A small slice of that tough tubing can prevent a shooter from getting into a classroom.
Grant Reed of Rural Metro Fire Department showed how to apply the piece of fire hose to a typical door closer, common in many schools.
"We're gonna slide it right over here, right over this hydraulic arm. The goal is to keep this where it cannot open anymore so it's pretty simple to go on. Just attach it. Once it's slid over the arms makes it a lot more difficult for this door to open." Rural Metro says the sleeves were first used in Kansas. Many schools are beginning to use them.
Rural Metro is sharing these security sleeves with the Tanque Verde School District and other districts Rural Metro serves. The Pima County Sheriff's Department was happy to see schools have another way to buy time while deputies rush to take down a shooter. School Resource Deputy Scott McLeod says the sleeves are something a teacher can put on fast, then take other steps to make the room a tougher target.
"I tell the teachers enlist the help of your students if you are in a true lockdown scenario, enlist your students, have them help you out, barricade the door and also use the sleeve." Tanque Verde Superintendent Scott Hagerman works to balance education with emergency training.
“Just enough knowledge that they feel safe and comfortable but not such a focus that all we are thinking about is the day to day, how do we keep ourselves safe, that we can just know what we need to know but then let's get back to school."