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  1. #1
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    Default School Fire Drills & Modern Times

    Law Enforcement telling school staff NOT to evacuate immediately upon a fire alarm activation due to it possibly being a ploy by a shooter to get students and teachers into the open is becoming an issue.

    On one hand they have a point. A fire alarm is a quick way to get people out of classrooms and outside and ANYONE can pull an alarm. School building design and construction are designed to keep a fire in check allowing for faculty to investigate the cause of the alarm before ordering an evacuation. Using fire alarms to get targets outside is a tactic that has been used by school shooters.

    On the other hand teaching students to ignore ANY alarm could have deadly consequences in that one time when there is a serious event requiring immediate evacuation.

    What say you?


  2. #2
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
    Law Enforcement telling school staff NOT to evacuate immediately upon a fire alarm activation due to it possibly being a ploy by a shooter to get students and teachers into the open is becoming an issue...
    Where? I work in a school. Have been to many security meetings/drills/conferences and have never heard this mentioned.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    it actuly happened


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westsid...chool_massacre

    I understand the whole safety thing now a days, because there are so many scenarios. Have not had to deal with do not evacuate yet, but sounds like everyone should set down and come up with a game plan.

    have not read through this:::

    NCEF Resource List: Disaster Preparedness and Response for Schools


    http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/s...28_schools.pdf

  4. #4
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    The odds favor fire or other emergency over an active shooter.

    Any changes in the standard response to a fire alarm should be agreed upon jointly by all the stakeholders involved. That includes law enforcement, fire authorities, and the school system.

    Many school systems are moving to distinct policies for fire alarms versus lock-down alarms for different kinds of emergency/threats. It is critical that responses predicated on one agency's safety concerns don't conflict with any other's without thorough consideration.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    It is critical that responses predicated on one agency's safety concerns don't conflict with any other's without thorough consideration.
    Very true. As part of a security grant our school system was required to assemble a safety team comprised of members from all agencies to include public health. This was an issue that came up and was decided, at that time, to evacuate immediately upon a fire alarm. But all members of the team admitted there was a lack of precedence on this issue. I have heard it discussed as an issue in more than just a few jurisdictions.

    But I think this needs to be addressed at higher levels than local. What happens when Jonny leaves school district A that waits before evacuating and goes to school district B that evacuates immediately.

    World in changing and we need to anticipate possible changes & challenges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    it actuly happened


    Westside Middle School massacre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I understand the whole safety thing now a days, because there are so many scenarios. Have not had to deal with do not evacuate yet, but sounds like everyone should set down and come up with a game plan.

    have not read through this:::

    NCEF Resource List: Disaster Preparedness and Response for Schools


    http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/s...28_schools.pdf

    It's been more than a half century since the last fatal school fire in the US. We have one instance of a shooter using a fire alarm to get victims out into the open. Both are way down on the list of risks to kids: School buses are much, much more of a risk, and parents driving instead are even worse.

    When it comes to the alarm-response policy, I'm more concerned about the message that's being sent to kids, that there might be an evil-doer lurking outside at any time. If we go down this path, schools should eliminate recess because the shooter could just as well wait until the bell rings since they know kids will be pouring out onto the playground.

    LE has more important things to do, IMHO.

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    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lniles77 View Post
    It's been more than a half century since the last fatal school fire in the US.
    Do you suppose that part of the reason for that is that we've been requiring alarm systems and fire drills where everyone exits the school promptly when the alarm sounds? Even though fatalities in school fires have become rare, injuries are still higher than in any other non-residential category.

    When it comes to the alarm-response policy, I'm more concerned about the message that's being sent to kids, that there might be an evil-doer lurking outside at any time.
    Agreed. This is the sort of paranoia that took "stranger danger" over the top to the point where kids are afraid to even talk to firefighters and police officers -- despite the fact that we know kids are far more likely to be abused by family or friends than by strangers.

    LE has more important things to do, IMHO.
    If there's one thing LE is consistently good at its drumming up public support through paranoia. The public is generally afraid of crime but not of fire. Who's surprised that they're all over doing something "for the children"? After all, LE is still supporting DARE programs at the taxpayers expense despite the well documented abysmal failure of that program...
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Great points all. Ignoring fire alarms sends a VERY bad message, and the fact we have systems in place without a doubt has contributed to the decline in school fires.

    People don't fear fire....and that is our fault and we need to start telling our story - just like LE has been doing for years!!

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    Pre planning,with the administrators of those faculities, for areas of concern using different scenarios will give you a heads up for your initial response. In your question I know schools are very hard to deal with but a little PR work might help to get them to work with you. Sometimes on this type of pre plan if you get a law enforcement laision involved it will help. Once you arrive everyone will be on the same page. Also be aware of your surroundings when you leave the station and prior to arriva (cars, people that do not belong in the area)l. There may be someone waiting to do harm for that particular incident. Good luck ... Dave

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