Newark Schools putting safety kits in classrooms, hallways

Safety kits will soon be in classrooms and hallways at Newark City Schools. (WSYX/WTTE)

NEWARK, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Safety kits will soon be in classrooms and hallways at Newark City Schools.

"You will find a tourniquet, a pressure dressing, as well as gauze that is designed to pack a wound, full color instructions of exactly what to do," said citizenAID co-founder and Granville firefighter Bob Otter.

After decades of dealing with crisis as a firefighter, Otter said in today's climate, everyone needs to be prepared.

"Getting off of fire trucks and ambulances for 23 years and being met with, you know, citizens who are just besides themselves screaming 'I just didn't know what to do, I was here and I just didn't know what to do'," he said.

He said Newark Schools are the first in the country to get the citizenAID kits, that also come with a cell phone app you can use during a crisis when precious time is ticking.

"These types of injuries we are seeing need to be addressed in the first one-to-four minutes," he said.

Newark's superintendent said it fits into their larger safety efforts.

"We put some door lock systems in our classroom doors," said Superintendent Doug Ute. "We have done some things to speed up our response time."

The plan is to put a bag in each classroom, and the larger box that holds multiple safety kits near a spot like the gym where more people may need help.

"What if something bad happens and you are in a classroom, and you are locked in there for a period of time without any first aid supplies or any knowledge or the know how of how to use them?" he said.

His hope is to save even one life.

"Our teachers, I don't want to say they are excited about it because it is an issue that not a lot of people like to talk about, but our philosophy is we have to be prepared for anything," said Ute.

The training process begins next week. Around 600 staff members will learn to use the kits and some first aid.

Ute said part of their budget is going towards the kits, and they are hoping to get community support in the future.

All this comes after a Newark Middle School student was arrested just this week for making threats about shooting other students at school.

The district will hold a school safety forum Monday, March 19th with the police and fire department.

Parents and community members will get to ask questions.

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