Hollister amping up safety for schools

The Hollister School District continues to improve its safety standards with Federal Emergency Management Agency safe rooms, bulletproof glass and numbering on each entryway on all of the buildings — and it’s already paying off.

Assistant Superintendent for District Operations Chris Ford said numbering the buildings took less than a month and within a week, the system proved useful.

“We had a student who had a medical emergency Thursday before school,” Ford said.
He said emergency personnel were notified of the closest entrance to get to the student.

In the past, Ford said, the emergency responders would have had to go through the front entrance and then check in with the main office of the building. Now, however, Ford said, time was saved when the emergency crew went directly where the emergency was.

The school district chose to complete a security audit last year with Strategos International, a company based in Missouri.

According to the company’s website, strategosintl.com, “We very much believe that a truly effective response in responding effectively to violent intruders and active shooters requires a community-based approach in which school staff/leadership, parents, law enforcement and other emergency personnel are all provided with solutions that work in synergy with each other. This is also true in the prevention and after-action preparation phases as well.”

Sara Karnes