As we move toward a time where safety emergencies are becoming more prevalent, preparing for these events is becoming more important. Coming off the heels of the Boston Marathon bombings, American Alarm teamed with Winchester, MA law enforcement to review precautionary measures that can be taken to help prevent and handle these situations.
On Friday, May 17, 2013, American Alarm and the Winchester Police and Fire departments assisted in training the employees at the Winchester library how to react to emergency situations. Among the topics covered were missing children, aggressive and inappropriate behavior of patrons, unattended bags, sexual predators, employee roles and how to better utilize the previously installed security systems.
American Alarm educated the library team on what services were provided and how and when to use them. The Police and Fire departments presented an overview of the A.L.I.C.E. program as well as practiced a fire and active shooter threat situation.
A.L.I.C.E. can be extremely valuable for these types of scenarios; and is now being taught at all levels ranging from elementary to high school. It teaches the idea that when facing an active shooter threat, rather than hiding and “sitting as a flock of sheep, to attack the intruder as a team and get out of the building” said Sgt. Dan Perenick of Winchester PD.
The following are the recommended steps of the A.L.I.C.E. program:
- Alert — Let others know that there is a problem and provide as much information (physical description, location etc.) as possible using PA system for example.
- Lockdown — Secure yourself in a safe area and prevent intruder access by barricading doors and windows.
- Inform — Identify intruder and circulate a description about him or her to help law enforcement identify the intruder(s)
- Counter — Distract, disorient and disarm intruder by throwing objects and attacking. The intruder will instinctually try to defend them self and will lose concentration.
- Evacuate — If possible leave the premises and get as far away as possible. The farther away from the scene you are, the safer you are.
This program applies to any emergency situation and it’s not only children that need to be practicing these drills. Everyone can benefit by learning how to react in situations that can be life or death. This program is controversial because it teaches people to step up and counter the attacker.
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