NY Elementary School Stocks Classrooms with Safety Buckets
Last Wednesday, teachers at Allegany-Limestone Elementary School were given buckets full of medical supplies and other materials that would help secure their classroom in the event of an active-shooter incident.
- By Jessica Davis
- June 12, 2019
Last Wednesday, teachers at Allegany-Limestone Elementary School were given safety buckets full of medical supplies and other materials that would help secure their classroom in the event of an active-shooter incident. The teachers were also trained on how to use the medical supplies to fight gunshot wounds.
“The things in here are very simplistic and they’re intended to do one thing: protect you and the children that are in your care,” Allegany Rescue and EMS Lt. Jim O’Brien told staff members.
A total of 56 buckets—one for each classroom and other spaces, like the library and cafeteria—were donated to the school by Allegany Rescue and EMS, an independent emergency services organization. The members of Allegany Rescue and EMS were inspired to create the safety kits after learning about safety buckets at a conference earlier this year.
As discussions about school shootings and school safety have increased, many schools in the U.S. have adopted the practice of placing buckets of safety supplies, often called “Go Buckets,” inside of classrooms as another way to prepare for potential intruder situations.
The Allegany-Limestone teachers who attended Wednesday’s demonstration said they were grateful for the emergency supplies but hoped they never needed to use them.
“You want to make sure everyone’s safe, but you never want it to have to come to that,” special education teacher Katie Duggan said.
According to O’Brien, the bucket is designed to help with the “hide” step in the “run, hide, fight” protocol commonly taught for active-shooter situations. The bucket has both a wooden doorstop and a rope doorstop that can be used to barricade the classroom door from any intruders. There’s also a roll of duct tape, which can be used to cover glass windows on any door so attackers can’t see inside of classrooms.
“If they start to open the door and feel resistance, they’re going to go on. Their goal is to do as much destruction as fast as they possibly can,” said Allegany Rescue and EMS Capt. Jerry Cummins, who also helped with the demonstration. “If you look at all the studies, all the damage is done in a very short period of time. Five, six minutes and it’s all done with.”
School shootings often only last a few minutes, but teachers and students may find themselves locked down in the classroom for hours afterward as law enforcement investigates and clears out the campus. O’Brien said that’s why the bucket is available for purposes other than holding supplies.
“If you’re in a classroom with 7-year-olds for three hours, somebody’s got to go,” O’Brien said.
If there’s a wounded student inside their classrooms, the buckets include a tourniquet and a chest seal that teachers can use to apply pressure and slow down bleeding.
“Slap it on the wound, it’s as easy as that,” Cummins said of the chest seal. “You’re not doctors, you’re not EMTs, you’re not expected to do anything else. Stop the bleeding.”
O’Brien said stopping a gunshot victim’s bleeding can help with their survival odds.
“Do the best you can,” Cummins said. “Because if you don’t do something, you’re still going to lose them,” he said. “But if you try to do something, you may end up saving them.”