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Richfield officials discuss A.L.i.C.E. training

11/22/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

Richfield Township officials talked about new ideas for how to handle a potential shooting incident at the Nov. 15 meeting of the Richfield Township Board of Trustees.

One day earlier, they attended a class at the Town Hall taught by Richfield police called A.L.i.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate).

“One of the things we learned is to communicate clearly,” Trustee David Wyatt said. “We should say ‘a man with a gun is heading to the cafeteria,’ not ‘to the northwest corner of the building. In the lockdown phase, you go into a room and barricade the door when possible. Before, people were told to huddle in the corner, but the theory is now to spread out.”

Fiscal Officer Laurie Pinney noted that schools are still teaching the “stand in the corner” method.

Township Administrator Linda Bowmer said she learned that children will often pass by escape routes like emergency doors because they’ve been taught not to set off the alarm.

“We need to teach our kids that emergency exits are for emergencies and they need to use them,” she said.

She also learned that if a gunman walks into a room, students may have a chance at survival if they all start throwing things at the shooter.

“We learned a lot of practical knowledge, like how two people can carry an injured person,” Pinney said. “Sit him up, cross his arms and the other person can carry his legs.”

Wyatt also learned what a person should do if they get control of a weapon.

“Get control of it and put it in a wastebasket,” he said. “If police see you with it, they’ll think you’re the shooter.”

In other news:

• Trustee Janet Jankura said she attended the Veterans Day ceremony at Revere High School Nov. 9. More than 100 veterans attended the breakfast and assembly.

First-graders sang and read poems, and the Revere choir and concert band also performed. The event also included speakers and the playing of the anthems of each branch of the service, with the veterans standing accordingly.

“The students were very respectful, and I was very happy that the Richfield safety forces were there to provide the color guard,” Jankura said.

Jankura also said she would like a report from the police and fire chiefs at one of the trustees’ meetings regarding emergency preparation. While much of the township’s disaster preparedness takes place at the county level, Jankura said she wanted to know how residents are informed of where to go in case they need shelter in an emergency.

• The trustees approved the final budget for 2012 of $3.4 million. The township collected $5,000 each more than expected from zoning and the gasoline tax, while the General Fund, Police, Fire and Road funds came in lower than expected.

“Most of the reductions came as a result of the loss of property-tax revenue,” Pinney noted.

• Bowmer said the township was not awarded state grant or loan funds for a renovation project on Hawkins Road. However, the township will get another chance by reapplying to the Small Government program, which is for communities with fewer than 5,000 residents.

The township scored highest in the county on the project, beating out projects in Mogadore and Boston Heights, Bowmer said. This will give Richfield Township 10 extra points as it competes statewide for a portion of $16 million in available funds.

Pinney stated the township would need to provide matching funds if it wins the state money, and it will have the proper funds since voters passed Issue No. 58 Nov. 6.

• Bowmer also said that Nov. 15 was the first day of the on-call season for the snowplow crew.

“The guys have come up with creative scheduling ideas that have saved us money on overtime,” Wyatt said.

• Bowmer also said the township’s computers are six years old and starting to run into problems.

“Our software is so old that Microsoft doesn’t even support it any more,” she said.

She said she got a quote of $6,000 for two computers and a laptop through the state purchasing program.

• The Tree Lighting will take place Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. at the southeast corner of Broadview and West Streetsboro roads.

The next Richfield trustees’ meeting is scheduled for Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. at the township offices, located behind the fire station on West Streetsboro Road.

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