This is the second “in the series” on the topic of ALICE training. For those that may have missed last month’s letter, ALICE is an acronym for the words Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. This is essential training today for hospitals, schools, and us all today.
Confusion and a crisis can occur whenever or wherever one is, not just in crowded arenas. It’s important to be prepared and therefore, as I previously stressed, folks should learn (and become refreshed in) Stop the Bleed techniques and order a kit.
For this column let’s discuss the “L” word… “Lockdown”. Once one becomes aware there is an incident, meaning you heard something (for instance a gunshot), the first thing is to lockdown where you are, and help inform others to do the same.
Locking a door can buy valuable time. Barricade a door if you can. In the past few years, we have created pockets within Temple that can be locked down. Special tools are in place that can be used as a very strong brace against the door to keep it from opening.
The “lockdown” action includes turning off the lights, hiding under a desk, in a closet, even in the corner. Put your phone on silent. Don’t huddle together; instead spread out within a room. Look for alternate escape routes.
To lock or to secure should also remind us of other actions that keep us safe. Make sure outside doors are latching properly by door closers alone and that the alarm is always armed when the last person leaves the building.
Do we have sufficient outdoor lighting? In the case of our Temple, we are planning to upgrade our outdoor lighting as a part of the extensive work taking place now to the grounds. Barricades installed so cars cannot easily plow into the building are called bollards. Currently, we have designs that include these bollards as other concrete projects are worked on.
The effort to be prepared is rewarded not just by the small chance of having to use the training and the lives such action could potentially save. Being prepared can make us more aware and help us feel more secure and therefore, more confident, in our ability to make a positive difference.