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Big 6 Blog

Mind Set: Well, Something is better than Nothing!

Jeff Carson - Wednesday, May 16, 2018

My last blog discussed the “piecemeal approach” to active shooter security and physical security in general. During discussions at trade shows, conventions and site visits, there has been a pervasive general approach to the development of active shooter protection measures. Again, either planning for the last active shooter event or hearing/learning that one organization is adopting this or that measure or procedure, especially if low cost and then also adopting that measure. Recurring theme: This Something is better than Nothing. I cannot disagree with that statement depending on what “Something” is. However, does it really provide any measurable increase in protection? Remember the goal in all the “active shooter preparations” is to have everyone survive. ..

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Piecemeal Approach to Active Shooter Security

Jeff Carson - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A Superintendent of a school system announced the school district’s policy of equipping each classroom with a 5-gallon bucket of “river rocks”. These rocks are about the size of a baseball and, if properly used, is certainly “better than nothing”. What else comes to mind? Maybe, it is a bad idea to come to a gunfight with a rock? One thought is, if the active shooter was ever a student at that school, he would know about the rocks and could easily come dressed with baseball catcher protective equipment to reduce the rocks impacts (just like professional baseball catchers who do not want to end their careers from being hit by a pitch or foul tip). Or, maybe beside that 5-gallon bucket of rocks, should be a 5-gallon bucket of water and a 5-gallon bucket of sand to fight fires? Probably in the very beginning, the solution to school fires was a bucket of water and a bucket of sand but wisdom and technology soon provided a better solution by being more efficient and safer but at an additional cost. ..

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SUBJECT: Basis for Non-Powered Opening of Shelter

Jeff Carson - Friday, January 26, 2018

The design and development of the VAST6 was based on determining the operational requirements and parameters to achieve the protection level for an active shooter event and tornado event. The physical protection requirements are roughly the same for active shooter and for protection for a direct hit by tornado. The primary difference is the amount of time one might have to relocate for a tornado but that is not a good procedure for an active shooter event. Departing the classroom, one may run into the active shooter(s) or into a dead-end location and become trapped without adequate protection. ..

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Thesis research on Planning for Urban Schools

Jeff Carson - Thursday, August 17, 2017

During online research of active shooters, terrorist attacks and hostage situations in schools, a Thesis paper from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California was located. The subject title was “Thesis on Homeland Security Planning for Urban Area Schools”, authored by Craig A. Gjelsten with a publication date of March 2008. Below are some of the pulled quotes that I found enlightening or interesting. ..

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FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grants

Jeff Carson - Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has the PDM Program to help communities to prepare for various disaster events to include Active Shooter events. Below are some more pulled quotes from a FEMA brochure to assist in the understanding of the PDM Grant program and their insights into addressing Pre-Disaster Mitigation plans/efforts. ..

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Lesson Learned to save our Students and Teachers from an Active Shooter event

Jeff Carson - Tuesday, July 18, 2017

There is a very strong example of how to save and protect both students and teachers in the school environment from a possibly deadly threat. This example has worked so good that not a single student has been killed in the United States in over 50 years from this particular event. Fire prevention, fire safety and fire drills have ensured that no student has died in over 50 years. I heard another source stated the last student to die in a school fire was in 1958 but I cannot verify that. ..

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Emergency Egress Door

Jeff Carson - Wednesday, July 05, 2017

The development of an emergency egress door is rather straight forward and simple. FEMA P-361 does not require the emergency egress door but leaves it up to the local authorities/ decision makers. However, if such an egress door is required, a minimum size is required.  ..

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Two Hour Standby Power Back-up for Tornado and Active Shooter events

Jeff Carson - Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The FEMA guidelines for Tornado protection are numerated in FEMA P-361, Design and Construction Guidance for Community Safe Rooms, Second Edition, August 2008. Paragraph 8.10, entitled Standby Power on page 8-12 states: “The ICC-500 standard requires standby power systems to be designed to provide the required output capacity for a minimum of 2 hours and to support the mechanical ventilation system, when applicable.”

Another US government agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in their Natural Disasters and Severe Weather – Tornado section stated: “Injury may result from the direct impact of a tornado, or it may occur afterward when people walk among debris and enter damaged buildings. A study of injuries after a tornado in Marion, Illinois, showed that 50 percent of the tornado-related injuries were suffered during rescue attempts, cleanup, and other post-tornado activities. Nearly a third of the injuries resulted from stepping on nails. Other common causes of injury included falling objects and heavy, rolling objects. Because tornadoes often damage power lines, gas lines, or electrical systems, there is a risk of fire, electrocution, or an explosion. Protecting yourself and your family requires promptly treating any injuries suffered during the storm and using extreme care to avoid further hazards.”

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Lessons Learned from Terrorist Attacks on Schools

Jeff Carson - Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A couple of years ago I heard that an terrorist attack on the Belsan School in Russia on 1 September 2004 was a “dress rehearsal” for terrorist attacks on American schools. I started searching for the quote and found a book review (SOURCE) by Frank Borelli about a book entitled “Terror at Belsan: A Russian Tragedy with Lessons for America's Schools ” written by John Giduck, published in 2005. The short version is the terrorists held the school for 3 days and Russian military attacked, resulting in a death toll of 385 (186 children, parents, 35 terrorists and 11 Special Ops soldiers). I bought the book, read it and have a few observations about the book’s predictions in light of the recent attack in Manchester, England on 22 May 2017.  ..

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School Resource Officers (SROs)

Jeff Carson - Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The most common solution to Active Shooter event is to place a School Resource Officer (SRO) in every school. Most schools in the United States do not have SROs in every school and some schools share a single SRO. Each jurisdiction addresses this matter and eventually the discussion turns to continuing costs. ..

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