In Case of Shooting, Barnegat Schools Equipped With Tourniquets

Dec 12, 2018
Courtesy of: Barnegat School District Teacher Ryan Dolan and Steve Nichol, Barnegat High School Principal, he has taken a leadership role in the rollout of ALICE training.

As part of a plan to upgrade security measures, the Barnegat Township School District began the new term  with five armed guards with each to be stationed in its four elementary schools and middle school beginning in September. But these upgrades also included teachers and staff to be be trained in ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evaluate) throughout the upcoming school year. District Superintendent Brian Latwis said ALICE is a research-based standard operating procedure that trains school staff and students on best practices in the event of an active shooter or similar crisis.

One of those initiatives came to pass when the district recently equipped each school with special tourniquets that can be used to stop severe bleeding, an all too common occurrence in mass shootings. Latwis said 150 were purchased at a cost of approximately $30 each in partnership with the police department.  

“Active killer incidents are a nasty reality, and preventable deaths compound those tragedies,” said Police Chief Keith Germain, writing on the department’s Facebook Page. “For just one example – of the 49 people murdered in the Pulse Nightclub shooting, 16 were determined to have survivable wounds – and the vast majority of those people bled to death. Our hope is that we never experience a critical incident in our schools. But if it ever were to happen – you will have a district full of teachers and staff who can make a huge difference in the outcome. Huge thanks to Superintendent Dr. Brian Latwis and the teachers and staff of the Barnegat School District for being willing to accept and embrace a reality that too many find easier to ignore. Equally deserving are the Barnegat Board of Education and Township Committee for supporting Dr. Latwis, the staff, the police department and the idea that Barnegat can work together to innovate and pursue the mutual goal of making our students the safest anywhere.”

Latwis said the Velcro devices would be used after the active shooter scene was stabilized.

“That’s the first priority once officers arrived on the scene,” said the superintendent. “But in the meantime, there could be many people suffering multiple gunshot wounds. With our teachers and staff trained in use of the tourniquets, we could save lives because every minute is critical. Hopefully, we’ll never have to use them, but in this day and age we have to be prepared for worst-case scenarios.”   

— Eric Englund

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