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Old fire hoses used to keep classrooms safe during lockdowns

Harrisonville Schools
Posted at 10:46 AM, Nov 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-18 19:05:02-05

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — Harrisonville Elementary School is always looking for ways to better protect its students.

"We take safety very seriously,"Assistant Principal Tricia Falke said.

Now, the school has added a new layer of protection, which involves is a retired fire hose.

"We cut them into 12-inch sections and it would fit all of the closers for the doors," Harrisonville Fire Chief Eric Myler said.

When teachers are alerted to a lock down, especially if there is an armed intruder in the school, they slip the sleeve made from the old fire hose over the closer to the classroom door then hide with their students.

"Every single room that has the elbow (closer) on the door will have the sleeve," Falke said.

The material used to make the hose is so tough, firefighters said it would be almost impossible to get in.

"It keeps the door from even opening up even more than a couple of inches," Myler said.

The Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department donated the hose.

Falke said the sleeves save the district thousands of dollars, because they don't have to buy expensive devices designed to do what the hose does.

"Anytime we can save money," Falke said, it's a good thing, "so they can go for, whether it's field trips or instructional materials or supplies for kids."

She believes this could benefit schools across the nation.

"Our doors are locked at all times, but it never hurts to have one more step in order to provide that safety for our kids," Falke said.

The Harrisonville Fire Department has asked for additional retired hoses from other departments to make more sleeves.