Today members of our police and fire departments were privileged to participate in the “R” Word Rally at Avondale High School. Our School Resource Officer, Brian Miller, was part of the school planning team who produced the rally this morning..
Through a series of songs, skits, videos and brief speeches middle and high school students rallied around the idea that every person is due respect – that everyone is important and should be included in school and public life.
They invited us to participate because we illustrate the point – we are a diverse group of people-men, women, tall, short, various races and ethnic backgrounds. Some of us were not born in United States although all are citizens and loyal Americans. We are united in our desire to police this community in ways that fair and equitable while producing a safe and secure environment for families and businesses. We each bring skills and abilities that support and complement each other in achieving our goals. We respect each other and what each brings to our work.
Using us as an illustration was interesting – one of the most important teamwork events we have been training recently is in the skill necessary to form ourselves into a Rescue Task Force in the event of a critical incident. The idea is for police and fire to team up to rescue injured people. Seems elementary, I know. But our traditional roles are for police to seek and eliminate the threat in an active shooter situation. Meanwhile the Fire Department waits outside for police to make the scene safe to enter and treat the injured. Firefighters are not armed and cannot protect themselves let alone another. Their actions trying to help could make a scene much, much worse. So police and fire are trained as teams to enter the “warm zones” and treat the wounded. There have been cases around the country where wounded people may have survived the incident had they been afforded emergency medical treatment soon enough. (See an earlier blog for more information)
Today we demonstrated how we can work together as a team on an obstacle course simulated to be a rescue scenario. Teams of students and staff attempted the same. One entertaining aspect was that the police had to wear fire equipment and firefighters wore police equipment. If you check out our Twitter feed you can see some videos. @AHPolice
I think our audience got the point – to do our jobs effectively we must work as teams and bring forward every person’s skills and abilities to achieve a successful outcome.
Avondale Schools have long intrigued me because of the diverse nature of the student body. Of course the schools are a reflection of the diverse nature of our community. Yet we have little if any of the controversy that sometimes comes with such a diverse group. Truly one of the strengths of this great community. I appreciate that the school district and the City Council see the value of Officer Miller in our schools and what he brings to the education of our young people – how to be good citizens.
Today’s rally was a wonderful event. Thank you, Avondale Schools, for inviting us and allowing us to participate.