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‘It cannot open anymore:’ First responders offer old fire hoses in effort to prevent school shootings

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TUCSON, Ariz. — First responders put their lives on the line during school shootings — and they see the sad aftermath of what a shooter can do. Now, first responders are offering school districts a simple device to help students survive when a shooter attacks.

It is something we have to think about all the time now — the idea of an armed intruder going into a school, or some other place and doing as much killing as they possibly can. There’s now a very simple idea to help make the schools safer.

A fire hose is a strong, simple life-saving tool. After years of high pressure use, it’s retired, but these old hoses can save lives — preventing a shooter from getting into a classroom.

“We’re gonna slide it right over here, right over this hydraulic arm. The goal is to keep this where it cannot open any more, so it’s pretty simple to go on. Just attach it. Once it’s slid over the arms — makes it a lot more difficult for this door to open,” said a Rural Metro first responder.

Rural Metro officials said the sleeves were first used in Kansas. Many schools are beginning to use them.

Rural Metro shared the security sleeves with the Tanque Verde School District and other districts Rural Metro serves. Officials with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department were happy to see schools have another way to buy time while deputies rush to take down a shooter. School Resource Deputy Scott McLeod said the sleeves are something a teacher can put on fast — and hen take other steps to make the room a tougher target.

“I tell the teachers — enlist the help of your students if you are in a true lockdown scenario. Enlist your students. Have them help you out. Barricade the door and also use the sleeve,” said Deputy Scott McLeod.

McLeod works to balance education with emergency training.

“Just enough knowledge that they feel safe and comfortable, but not such a focus that all we are thinking about is the day to day — how do we keep ourselves safe, that we can just know what we need to know, but then let’s get back to school,” said McLeod.

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