The Institute for Childhood Preparedness toured the State of Kansas in early April, traveling over 400 miles and conducting active shooter preparedness training sessions in Pittsburg, Salina, Kansas City, Topeka, Wichita, and Dodge City.
Kansas’ Commitment to Childhood Safety and Preparedness
While in Kansas we also met with several local police departments, the Kansas Department of Education, fire chiefs, and several local school district representatives to share information and best practices. We were very impressed by the commitment of the Kansas State Fire Marshal to develop rules and regulations regarding the use of barricades, locks, and door closure devices as they relate to the active shooter and active assailant settings. These common-sense solutions allow for greater flexibility during exercises, drills, and real-world events.
Kansas is a Leader in Emergency Response
While the odds of experiencing a fire or other type of emergency greatly outweigh the likelihood of becoming involved in an active assailant situation, it is still important to have flexibility so that teachers and child care providers can practice and respond during an emergency. We applaud Kansas for these efforts. The Kansas State Fire Marshall has even established a specific website for these issues – Kansas State Fire Marshal Office Active Shooter Information. The site contains information about exemptions for door locks and other devices in the event of an active shooter, or in the event of conducting active shooter drills.
We were also very happy to have the support of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). With their help, we were able to clarify and disseminate information relating to existing licensing rules and regulations and their applicability to scenarios involving acts of violence, terrorism, and active shooters.
There was some confusion around an existing regulation which states that “each parent or guardian of a child enrolled in a daycare facility or preschool shall have access to the premises during all hours of operation.” see KAR 28-4-123.
This passage created a bit of confusion about the ability of child care programs to secure their buildings and lock their doors during normal business hours. KDHE quickly addressed these concerns and clarified that access means letting parents in upon request – not having to leave family child care homes or child care centers unlocked or the doors open. We greatly appreciate KDHE’s rapid response and clarification on this important matter.
The Institute for Childhood Preparedness is continuing to conduct active shooter and emergency preparedness trainings throughout the United States. We are available to come to train your specific program, present to a group, present at a conference or even provide a keynote address to your event. In addition, we also provide on-site safety and risk assessments – designed to provide you with the information you need to better secure your program.
To request a training or site safety survey, visit us online at www.childhoodpreparedness.org