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Glendale school gets safety equipment for lockdowns from fire officials

(Facebook/Glendale Fire Department)

PHOENIX — A Glendale school is getting some safety equipment — from the Glendale Fire Department.

The “School Saferoom Safety Sleeve” fits over a pneumatic-door hinge and is held in place with magnets. The department donated some to Desert Garden Elementary School on Thursday.

The sleeve prevents doors from being opened from either inside or outside the classroom in an effort to add a layer of security in lockdown situations.

“We use decommissioned fire hose,” said Glendale Fire Department spokeswoman Ashley Losch. “Yearly, we test our hose and some of it doesn’t pass.

“What we’ve been doing in the past few years is giving it to an organization that makes shoes for the homeless. In this case, we were presented with the opportunity to help a school and make it safer — so we jumped at the chance.”

Joe De La Huerta, principal of Desert Garden Elementary School, approached the fire department after going through some school-safety training.

“On the news, they had this lady — a kindergarten teacher in Kansas State. …she decided to do this and called it a safety sleeve,” he said. “That night, I got on YouTube and try to find anything possible that they had about it.

“The next day…when I was done with what I had to do, I carved out a little time to call the Glendale Fire Department. They were just really responsive.”

The sleeves are double-walled. Losch said if desired, the inner wall of the hose can be taken out and used as a sleeve, too.

De La Huerta said the device is deceptively simple. “What we found from (our safety) training is that, if it’s too hard to actually get in there and do damage, it’s not worth a person’s trouble.”

It’s not clear yet whether all Glendale schools will receive these. Losch said hose is not decommissioned all that often.

“If we could find a funding source of some kind in order to do it, we certainly would,” she said. “We have the resources to cut the hose – but we just don’t have the money.”

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