The Wright City R-II School District spent the latter part of June installing fire alarm systems at its high school.
These were not replacement alarm systems, but rather the first ones ever placed in the 52-year-old building, according to Superintendent David Buck.
“Currently we have to have a human on the intercom system delivering the message about a fire,” said Buck. “We’re relying on humans to detect the fire and spread the word, which prevents them from evacuating themselves.”
The district has focused on increasing security over the past few years with the inception of intercom entry systems and vestibules that help staff identify visitors prior to coming into the building. In light of the increase in school shootings in recent years, much attention has been placed on keeping students safe inside the building.
“Anything we can do to prevent an incident from happening or increase response time is important, because time means lives,” said Buck.
He says the district also is reviewing its evacuation plan for fires, as it relates to where students would go if displaced from the school building. All but one of the buildings in the district has others close enough to quickly relocate. East Elementary, however, stands on its own in a rural space.
“They’ve reworked all the plans and reunification of students secured off-site,” said Buck. “East Elementary has nothing around them, so we’re partnering with truck centers. If we need to we can relocate outside the buildings to an off-site location.”