February 20, 2019

Pratt, Fairfield school districts implement safety system to face active shooters – KSN-TV

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PRATT, Kan. (KSNW) – A touch of a button can potentially help keep kiddos safe at school in the event of a mass shooting, while also alerting staff and law enforcement simultaneously.

Kadie Larsh has been teaching at Liberty Middle School in Pratt for two years.

“Some of them need to be spilled over into a different binder,” Larsh said.

And while she is organizing binders or preparing lessons for class, she is also working to keep her students safe.

“A tourniquet, the pepper spray,” she said. “Even the strobe light as a way to defend yourself.”

Pratt schools are implementing a new safety system called the Safe Defend Active Shooter Response System.

“Unfortunately, we’ve come to a point in our society where active shooters, hostile intruders are 20X more than a fire,” Director of Safe Defend Training Douglas Parisi said.

The device uses tools to mitigate a threat and helps notify everyone in the building while law enforcement is in route.

It all starts with a fingerprint from a teacher or faculty member, which will open the box with a set of defense tools and first aid and immediately notify law enforcement through 9-1-1.

The boxes will be scattered around the building, but not in every classroom.

“Depending on how this year goes with them, we’ll consider if we need to get more or not,” USD 382 Superintendent Suzan Patton said.

Parisi said the Safe Defend system will help save lives because it gets everyone on the same page.

“The biggest one that have the highest casualties counts are when they just call 9-1-1, and the staff isn’t notified.”

Monday morning, faculty and staff received training on how to use the system and related tools.

They hit a fake intruder with a baton and sprayed a target with gel pepper spray.

“We use gel because it can spray more than 24 feet away,” Parisi said.

All with the hopes of preparing for a scenario they hope to never practice again. .

Pratt school officials said all four of their buildings have multiple Safe Defend systems, and they will be up and running within the next couple of weeks.

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