In the wake of another school shooting there is talk about the best approach. The one glaring problem that continues to arise is the lack of notification to building occupants and police, or a lockdown alarm. According to media outlets it was 10 minutes until a Coral Springs police officer entered the building. The SRO was on scene shortly after the shooting started but did not make entry. This seems unbelievable. What we do know is that the shooter fired his last round 5 minutes after the initiation of gunfire. Regardless of when police responded there is little chance they would have been able to intervene in less than 5 minutes. (Original blog edited to reflect accurate response time information.)
What is needed in this situation is a simple way for staff to activate an alarm system that immediately notifies police down to the room number of a threat in just a few seconds. At the same time, lockdown alarms can go off in the building instantaneously. Exact information should be sent via text and email in mere seconds to teachers of the room number where the threat started. The alert should also go out to all other school administrators to initiate lockout procedures at those schools. Once emergency responders swarm one school there are no resources to protect the others. They should be on lockout to prevent further tragedies. All the above actions can be accomplished with one swipe of the finger using the SafeDefend lockdown alarm system.
The system includes protection tools and trauma response. The heroic stories of teachers throwing themselves in front of students to shield them with their own bodies are noble. I would rather those teachers have some means to disrupt the shooter and reduce casualties. The other problem we face is that in these mass casualty events there just aren’t enough paramedics that can arrive in time. Having tourniquets and hemostatic agents on hand and readily accessible is a must. We know of at least 31 gunshot victims in Parkland, FL. That overwhelms first responders. The SafeDefend system provides these tools in the personnel protection boxes.
The two most important things to save lives in a crisis are notification and response options. Access control systems and cameras don’t notify police and can’t be used in a crisis to save lives. History has demonstrated how these events unfold. We need to change our response to address the realities of the crisis. The SafeDefend solution was designed by industry experts to prepare schools and businesses to respond in a crisis.