BAY COUNTY-- Even though school is out for the summer, Bay District School officials are still hard at work making schools safer by adding emergency kits.
School Superintendent Bill Husfelt says you can never be too prepared. "The thing you don't want to do is to wait until after the emergency and wish we had done this," said Husfelt.
That mentality combined with Rick Rainer's wise words is what motivated Husfelt to be proactive. In 2007, Rainer was the principal of Enterprise High School in Alabama, when a category four tornado hit the school, killing several students inside.
Earlier this year, Principal Rainer came to Bay County and talked to local school officials about the importance of preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.
"They hear me talk about safety all the time, but when you bring someone in that lived it, was there actually saw children in his school that were deceased and had to dig from the rubble," said Mike Jones, Bay District School Security Chief. Husfelt adds, "They had first aid kids available and they knew what they were doing with it. They were very thankful they had that. I was sitting there in the audience thinking our teachers don't have anything thing like this."
Almost immediately, Husfelt ordered 100 emergency kits for Bay County schools. In the bags: gauze, eye wash, vests, bandages, splints, flashlights and so much more. Each one costs about $240 a grand total of $24,000. Husfelt said, "It was not cheap to do, but you don't have to do it once to pay off."
Officials created a plan laying out which schools get multiple bags. Jones said, "We don't want to put them all in one location, say we have six at a high school we will have six different people with a bag. We will base it on population however many kids and place the bags there."
Local EMS officials will train school staff on how to use everything inside the kits before school starts.