KINGS MILLS, Ohio -- School shootings and other emergencies aren't framed as an ‘if' in the response training faculty and staff receive, Kings Local Schools community relations coordinator Dawn Gould said on Thursday. They're a ‘when.'
Kings Local Schools hasn't had to deal with the same kind of tragedy that hit Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday, but officials stay prepared with drills and -- in a 21st-century twist -- a smartphone app called Navigate Prepared.
"It's a great way for our staff to be able to communicate internally," Gould said. "We have all of our safety plans loaded into the app itself, so each building, we have an aerial plan of the building, we have all the floor plans for the building, we have all the safety contact information."
First responders can use the app to access the same information and familiarize themselves with the layout of the buildings they will enter in an emergency.
CitizenAID, an app created by Bob Otter, can also help people who witness a violent incident by walking them through simple things they can do to aid the victims.
"Truly, our first responders are our citizen responders, and they need something to guide them through exactly what to do, think clearly," Otter said. "To triage and treat those catastrophic injuries that quite frankly wait for EMS arrival. A lot of good can be done in the first five minutes."
Like Otter, Gould said technology can help people in emergency situations overcome the mental scramble they might initially experience. Even someone who know how to treat injuries or lead students safely out of the building can need help to remember the procedure when caught off-guard.
"We want to make sure that we continue to talk about it and make sure that we don't just take it for granted that it's not going to happen here," Gould said. "We can't guarantee that in these times."