Safety Feature Added to All Bridgeport Public Schools with Help from City Police, Fire Departments

By Jeff Toquinto on September 21, 2018 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

When Bridgeport Police Department Officer Jamie Hamrick, who serves as the city school’s Prevention Resource Officer, attended a seminar recently she saw something that could improve safety. The only thing she needed would be some resources and cooperation from the Bridgeport Fire Department.
 
As it turns out, she not only got both with the help of Chief Phil Hart, but she also didn’t have to explain it to him. And for good reason.
 
“What she wanted I had actually saw not too long before that, maybe a day or two before, regarding safety features in schools so I was on board,” said Hart.
 
What is the safety feature?
 
It involves the use of fire hose. Or in this particular case coming at no cost to the City of Bridgeport or the school system, it involved old fire hose.
 
“During the seminars they showed how most doors in classrooms have what looks like an L-shaped hinge at the top as the door swings open and then closes in on itself,” said Hamrick. “In a relatively simple way to add to the safety layers in the school, if there is a situation where you would have to lock down a building a teacher would simply slide a piece of old fire house over the hinge.”
 
Hamrick demonstrated the ease in which the foot-long piece of hose slid over the hinge. Once there, the door could not be opened – even with significant pressure. That maneuver, she said, would help along with the door itself being locked and the rest of the building being locked down.
 
“If there’s a breach in here, the door won’t open because the hinge has been disengaged. It won’t work,” said Hamrick.
 
The good news is Hamrick said there are roughly 250 doors in the city’s schools that have the hinge on them. The better news is Hart had his staff cut all 250 pieces of old fire hose.
 
“I was just expecting to get the pieces, but he had them bundled up neatly and ready for delivery,” said Hamrick. “It was a huge help and allowed us to get these out and show the teachers how to use them quickly. It’s a good example of the cooperation we have within our departments.”
 
Before asking his staff to do the work, Hart said a sample piece was cut. It was then put to the test.
 
“We cut her a piece and went down to the high school with it. We tried it and it worked immediately,” said Hart. “After that, we took advantage of some outdated hose that could no longer be used and cut the pieces for all the schools. It took the better part of an afternoon to do it, but it’s worthwhile.
 
“Any time we can work with the police department and the school system to improve the safety of students we’re more than glad to do that,” Hart continued. “In this day and age you need to be proactive instead of reactive and this does that and it’s a safety feature that, essentially, came at no cost.”
 
Editor's Note: Top photo shows PRO Jamie Hamrick quickly sliding the hose over the hinge inside the Bridgeport High School library, while Fire Chief Phil Hart is shown in the second photo. Bottom photo shows Hamrick holding the simple device made from old fire hose.


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