Thursday, October 9, 2014

Middle School Lockdown

APD & AFD on scene ARMS 10:45 AM

Okay parents set your stopwatches to see how long it takes school officials to let us know the Amherst Regional Middle School went into lockdown this morning for just about an hour.

Amherst police first responded to the school and then called for Amherst Fire Department to do a "psychological evaluation" on a young male student.

After about a half-hour on scene he was transported to Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Yes, having both police and fire personnel come through your front door to deal with a troubled student is certainly worth going into lockdown.

But it would be nice if all parents were notified, so rumors don't get started.

 AFD Engine 2 and NFD A1 on scene UMass Totman Gym 11:25 AM

Not long after that Northampton Fire Department had to send an ambulance our way -- the 2nd one of the morning to come to us via mutual aid -- because AFD was so swamped.

 AFD Engine 4 on scene Fort River School 1:40 PM

And then around 1:30 PM, AFD Engine 4 and Chief Nelson responded to a (false) fire alarm at Fort River School.

Three different school responses all within hours of each other.  No wonder we're known as an "educated community."

Too bad we don't show it by adequately staffing our beleaguered first responders.  

UPDATE:  4:30 PM email sent to parents


Anonymous said...

How often does AFD respond to Hamp for mutual aid,
any idea?

Larry Kelley said...

Infrequently. And never twice in one morning.

keithw said...

The middle and high schools should consider creating intervention rooms near the front of both buildings. Especially if they have students who go into crisis--or have potential to--on a regular basis. Clinical and crisis intervention staff can keep the situation isolated to the front nearby both the office and school nurse so the school doesn't have to go into lockdown and when AFD responds and has to roll a stretcher in to take the student in crisis out, it's a shorter trip not dragged on down the hallway for all the other students to see.

Anonymous said...

For fires, yes, but with the ambulance?

Larry Kelley said...

We have a mutual aid agreement with all surrounding cities and towns for fire and EMS so if they needed us we would be there.

But I honestly can't remember ever hearing a mutual aid ambulance going to Hamp.

Although I'm pretty sure it has at some point happened.

Anonymous said...

Amherst to Hamp mutual EMS aid may have been used on the night of the arson spree a few years back. There was an exceptionally high call volume that night in Noho.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing Hamp would call Hatfield

Anonymous said...

Hatfield EMS, like fire, is volunteer I believe, so Amherst would be the closest full time Dept. I think the private ambulance service that used to serve Hamp is till about in some form as well.

Anonymous said...

V-O-L-U-N-T-E-E-R-S so the community does not need to be taxed more.

B-E-T-T-E-R P-A-R-E-N-T-I-N-G so kids don't flip out, and not just don't flip out, don't flip out to the level that overwhelms the local LEO (apparently quite often according to this blog)

L-E-S-S H-Y-P-E and perhaps all the chaos will diminish.

Just hiring more police and ambulance workers wont help. And if the community was more educated they would be able to get by with less per capita. More education seems to mean that people need way more support to make it, kinda interesting that we now accept more education means less capable. Perhaps the education is raising expectations beyond what is practically possible on a daily basis....thus "Only in The Republic of Amherst"

Larry Kelley said...

Sorry Anon just now. I can't publish that.

Anonymous said...

Sorry anon 8:04, you cant run a busy fire dept like Amherst with volunteers, especially not the ambulance side of it. People have their regular jobs they cant just leave constantly.

Dr. Ed said...

Folks might have second thoughts about the concept of "lockdown" when they read this:

FreeBeacon wouldn't run this if THEY didn't think it serious -- and apparently the cops in Rhode Island do as well...

And as to ambulances in Northamption, doesn't the Hamp FD call in that private company for runs they can't do themselves? That would eliminate any need for asking AFD for ambulance help, although I do remember that the AFD's 11-story ladder truck being over there putting water in a place that the NFD's equipment couldn't reach.

I like to remind people that ladders go sideways as well as straight up -- when you have a lot of wooden buildings close together (e.g. downtown), the ability to put water on the back sides of adjacent buildings could be very valuable.

Anonymous said...

Here are some facts. Northampton no longer has private ambulance coverage. They have 5 Fire Department ambulances. 2 have 2 man firefighter / paramedic crews assigned exclusively to ambulance duty each shift. The other 3 are cross-staffed with firefighters / Paramedics or EMTs who are also assigned to fire apparatus.

As for Mutual Aid; Amherst has responded 3 times this year to Northampton for a medical emergency. Amherst has required 38 mutual aid responses for ambulances in 2014, 24 of those calls were handled by Northampton Fire. This number of 38 does not include when the Town details additional ambulances from South Hadley, Easthampton, Belchertown, or Westfield for events. Amherst has responded to other town 27 times for Mutual Aid Ambulance calls. 12 to Belchertown, 8 to Sunderland, 3 Northampton, 1 Hatfield, 1 Orange, 1 New Salem.

Amherst had 2 ambulances out of service yesterday. Their 2011 and 2007 ambulances normally known as A-1 and A-4 were both down for mechanical reasons. Amherst can normally staff 4 ambulances with cross staffing and with minimum staffing of 8 during the school year, but the lack of available trucks contributed to the need for additional help yesterday.