Police agencies have been training for years on how best to respond to catastrophic events at schools in light of lessons learned at Columbine, Sandy Hook and other places.
But preparedness has been taken to another level as the new school year begins.
Members of Findlay’s emergency medical services committee have developed new guidelines for responding to school emergencies. The standards apply not only to EMTs, but to village, city and county police and fire agencies.
Training sessions have been held so all first responders know exactly what role they have in worst-case scenarios, like a school shooting, and lesser ones, like a bomb threat.
The team approach could pay off if a serious problem unfolds.
In the past, police agencies would hold training, including exercises conducted in schools. But a serious incident could require multiple agencies to work together in a chaotic setting at short notice.
That could leave police dispatchers in the inevitable position of organizing a multi-agency response as an event unfolds.
The new plan incorporates police, fire and EMTs. Each agency would have a specific role at the scene.
History has shown that school shootings can happen anywhere, in large districts or small ones. In any case, the response must be swift and organized to keep injuries and deaths to a minimum.
Officials’ decision to combine resources and improve communication is commendable. School violence knows no boundaries, and first responders must do what they can to help those in adjoining areas.
Hopefully, the new plan will not have to be put into action. But if it is, all the time and effort will be well worth it.
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