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Safety Solutions

The Saving Power of the Reverse Evacuation...

Posted by John Baker on Nov 16, 2017 12:01:54 PM

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While the school staff did a great job of protecting their students the real hero of the recent Tehama Elementary School community shooting was the power of the reverse evacuation. Tragically very few schools practice this strategy. For many it exists in their All Hazards Plan but the functional practice of getting staff and students back into a building seldom happens. Maybe now that will change. A few things to consider when thinking about reverse evacuation drills are:

  • Developing an audible sound or command that can be heard on a crowded playground, bus loop or athletic field.  Consider a three whistle blast or bull-horn blast.
  • Does staff have access to the nearest outside door to get to safety or are they limited by a door with card swipe or working lock?
  • Keep all exterior doors locked.  Don't allow doors to be propped as they provide easy access to intruders.
  • Support staff is important. At the recent California shooting support staff provided much of the direction and action to keep this killer out. Make sure you train ALL your staff not just your teacher.
  • Once inside remember to close blinds and deny a killer a clear view.  Move staff and students to areas away from doors and windows and close to the floor if gunfire is a possibility (Severe weather locations are often great places of both cover and concealment). 
  • Cover is prefered but concealment is the next best option. In CA they were in temporary classroom trailers that bullets could penetrate but because they took advantage of concealment (denying a clear view) even though they lacked cover (something that a bullet can't penetrate) they avoided many more people being injured.
  • There is great power in movement and action. Had the staff and students froze on that campus and simply dropped to the ground we can only guess that many more lives would have been lost. MOVE! Do something. It makes a difference.

This is John Baker with safetysolutions4schools.com.


Topics: School Safety

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