Norwalk Reflector: South Central, EHOVE partner for school safety

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South Central, EHOVE partner for school safety

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Aug 29, 2018 at 1:00 PM

GREENWICH — You’d never guess it, but used fire hose is linking South Central Local Schools and EHOVE Career Center in a partnership for school safety.

South Central Superintendent Ben Chaffee Jr. saw social media posts about how sections of fire hose can be used to safely secure classroom doors from intruders.

“I contacted supervisor Charlie Warthling to see if EHOVE would be interested in assisting us with this endeavor. He, along with South Central SRO (school resource officer) Deputy Mitchel Cawrse, of the Huron County Sheriff’s Office, support this safety measure,” Chaffee said.

Fire hose can help secure a classroom door by being slipped over the metal bars of the door opener, a normal feature of a commercial door. Since the hose is made to withstand high-water pressure, heat and extensive wear-and-tear, it’s a great candidate for withstanding the stress of not allowing a door opener to do its job.

All of the hose being used is industry-standard and originally utilized by area departments which later donated it to the EHOVE firefighter/emergency medical technician program. The students train with the hose in everything from drills to live burns.

If a hose fails testing or is deemed no longer viable upon inspection, it normally is tagged as out of service and thrown away.

“We’re making the most of our resources with this initiative because the fire hose can be recycled for this new purpose instead of being thrown away,” said Warthling, an EHOVE assistant director and member of the Fairfield Township Volunteer Fire Department. “It still has a very important role in safety, just in a new way.”

Chaffee stressed the importance of keeping school facilities safe.

“School safety is always on my mind and by incorporating these fire hoses as door closures, I believe it is just one more step, one more option, we are providing to our staff to help protect our students and keep them safe,” the superintendent said.

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