School Safety Partners introduces "Safe Topics: The First 30 Seconds," an advanced rapid response training and evaluation system to prepare all school employees to make life-and-death decisions in the first moments of any school crisis.
The multimedia learning system -- complete with trainer guides, evaluation tools, video scenarios, and workbooks for over 30 crisis scenarios -- is available to schools, first responders, and community stakeholders as part of "hands on" live trainings, facilitated by Visionbox Learning.
Developed by world-renowned school safety expert Michael Dorn, "Safe Topics: The First 30 Seconds" is built on effective concepts that have been used in training law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical personnel, pilots and military personnel for many years. For the first time, these training concepts have been adapted for handling school crises, during which a delay of even five or ten seconds can result in mass casualties.
Presented in 2011 to lawmakers and school safety directors at the Colorado State Capitol, the techniques used in "The First 30 Seconds" on audience members made clear that responding to school incidents requires a level of training that goes beyond drafting safety plans.
Simulations conducted at schools around the nation revealed that most school employees unfamiliar with specialized training in rapid response miss at least one critical action step per scenario, such as initiating an evacuation, calling the main office, or dialing 911.
For example, more than 70% of school employees participating in simulations failed to implement a lockdown for an aggressor with a weapon such as a knife, crow bar or hammer. According to Dorn, attacks with weapons other than firearms are far more common and can be just as deadly, and schools cannot afford to overlook any gap in preparedness.
The video scenarios for "The First 30 Seconds" allow school employees to practice making life-and-death decisions in ways not possible with other types of drills and exercises. Using the Visionbox Learning version of the program, which includes exclusive guidance on interoperable communications with first responders, schools can practice for a wider array of situations in a shorter period of time, and quickly build what Dorn calls a "decision-making knowledge base."
About Michael Dorn
Michael Dorn is one of the top school safety experts in the world and is a popular writer, speaker, and media commentator on prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery strategies for K-12 and Higher Ed. At the national level, Dorn is called upon by states to train school districts and turn around persistently dangerous schools.
Dorn serves as Executive Director for Safe Havens International, a global non-profit school safety center. He has authored and co-authored 25 books on school safety. His work has taken him throughout the United States, and to Central America, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Asia and the Middle East. A former Chief of Police for the Bibb County, Georgia School System and School Safety Specialist for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, Office of the Governor, Dorn has been a full-time school safety practitioner for nearly forty years.
Dorn is regularly interviewed by major media organizations including NPR, 20/20, CNN, Good Morning America, ABC, NBC, CBS, Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Times of London, Univision and Tokyo Broadcasting.
About School Safety Partners
School Safety Partners is the largest online resource promoting partnerships, funding, grants, and pilot programs for school safety planning, technology, training, drills, exercises, and evaluations. School Safety Partners is dedicated to creating long-term funding partnerships to support school safety best practices.
We are both a community of interest and a facilitator of joint research projects, reaching out to the general public as well as stakeholders in the public, private, non-profit, and academic sectors. Our purpose is to create a space for stakeholders where true partnering can occur in order to make school safety sustainable beyond Federal funding. Since our start in January, 2008, our projects have addressed the legislative, training, compliance, funding, and public awareness sides of school safety.
This year, we were awarded a major grant from the Panasonic 3D Innovation Center in support of our efforts to produce and distribute immersive simulation-based school safety training systems.
We are working with Safe Havens International to distribute "The First 30 Seconds" and expand the program to include modules on crisis communications. These modules are designed to teach school safety teams what to say in the first 30 seconds, the first 5 minutes, and the first half-hour of a school emergency.
Please visit us at http://www.SchoolSafetyPartners.org.