School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut last week and in Chardon earlier this year have school officials thinking about security. Today the Cleveland school district unveiled a new security plan that gives safety personnel a new tool for responding to emergencies. ideastream’s Nick Castele reports.
Cleveland school district safety chief Lester Fultz says Cleveland schools already have tight security,
FULTZ: “Every building, the doors are locked. You have to be buzzed in. We have a system that checks background checks of all of our visitors. Our visitors, staff and students all wear IDs. Officers assigned to every buildings. An armed, mobile police force. Some 3,500 closed circuit TVs that we can operate remotely.”
But Fultz says when police, firefighters or EMS respond to a 911 call, they enter through the front door, even when they’re trying to get to the back of the school. Now, first responders will be able to access new digital floor plans of 100 Cleveland school buildings, allowing them to see all the entrances on their computers as they drive to the scene.
FULTZ: “This will allow them, while they are en route, to realize where our victim is, and the best entry for that victim. That saves time. Seconds in medical emergencies save lives.”
The new maps also show the locations of fire extinguishers, first aid kits, gas and electrical line controls -- responders can even call up photos of some rooms.
The digital blueprints were developed over two years by Foremost Safety Solutions, based in Macedonia. The work cost $160,000, with half of it paid for by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the other half paid for by the school district.
Fultz says he hopes to land another grant for further upgrades.