NewsNational News


The latest tool to be used in active shooter drills at schools? Fire hoses

Posted at 6:27 AM, Dec 03, 2018

QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. — Conversations have been forced to change in children's classrooms. Many adults remember simply learning about a basic fire drill or what to do in a lockdown.

But today, many teachers are having to teach kids what to do in case of an active shooter. 

Another safety net that is being used in places around Arizona, including Queen Creek Unified School District, is a donated, repurposed tool from the Queen Creek Fire and Medical Department: fire hoses. 

"They're cut into a certain segment. They are perfect to go over the hinges of our doors and that just adds this extra layer of security to our classroom," said Newell Barney Middle School science teacher Tammi Brewster. 

Brewster explained how the recycled and donated fire hoses from the fire department become a deterrent for any "bad guys" trying to get into a classroom and are now a part of their lockdown procedure called ALICE. ALICE stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. 

Brewster said that the fire hose is part of a larger conversation with students regarding school shootings. It helps explain the procedure for active shooter or lockdown drills in a way that does not scare them, but empowers them. 

"It gives them a relief that, 'OK, all of this is going on in the news, in our society and I have choices I can make. I don't have to sit in a corner and be scared,' '' Brewster said. 

"The schools have their processes and their programs in place for a lockdown," said Queen Creek Fire Chief Vance Gray. "What we wanted to do was just assist by adding another layer of protection for the teachers and the students and the schools." 

Gray said his two children went to one of the schools where he has donated these fire hoses.

While it is a piece of equipment he never hoped he would have to pass out, he knows taking action is the only thing to do. 

"If you can't change the way things are and make them exactly how you want them to be, then the best thing you can do is prepare," Gray said. 

He said they will continue donating their fire hoses whenever they go out of service.