Practice the plan

Recently police officers moved through a Florida middle school hunting for a gunman that had opened fire on campus. There was blood everywhere. Students were lying on the floor, wounded.

Fortunately, the shooter was never found. There wasn’t one. This was just a drill.

But before the event was finished, police had scanned hallways and burst into classrooms. Emergency medical personnel rushed to the school to take the “wounded” students to the hospital for treatment.

The district took advantage of a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to pay for the drill.

Although the school is located in a small rural community, the superintendant realized this is something that could happen on one of his campuses.

“It’s like any other place you got people that might get angry…anything could happen and so we gotta be prepared for this,” he was quoted in a local newspaper.

This is a smart man. With any kind of luck, he and his district will never experience a real event like this. But if so, they are better prepared to handle the resulting chaos.

Every school needs an emergency/crisis plan. But a plan won’t mean much if it hasn’t been practiced. This district is doing it the right way.

PatrickFielPatrick Fiel is public safety advisor for ADT Security Services and a former executive director of school security for Washington, D.C. Public School System. He also served 22 years in the Army Military Police Corps, where his responsibilities included day-to-day security operations at the West Point Military Academy. During his time with ADT, Fiel has conducted more than 100 television, radio, newspaper, and magazine interviews as a public and school safety expert.

Follow Patrick Fiel on Twitter.

Laura Ascione

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