Pip and the Land of Blue Trees was born out of frustration following the Parkland High School attack, another in the long line of mass casualty shootings that have been increasing in frequency, by Doug Haines, Owner and CEO of Haines Security Solutions.
The challenges of ‘fixing’ the precursors that lead to school violence or the root causes behind a student making a decision to, and then taking action to carry a gun into their school and open fire on his or her classmates, is not going to be a short discussion with a clear lineal strategy to safeguard our nation’s children.
Furthermore, it will likely take years before architects, school planners and security officials come to an agreement and begin to take action towards designing schools to provide two evacuation routes from all high occupancy spaces.
Doug, being a widely respected subject matter expert and educator in developing secure building design strategies, and an impassioned speaker is frequently asked his thoughts with regard to the Run-Hide-Fight doctrine security professionals have been teaching during lockdown drills.
Doug believes that we need to develop a way in which to effectively protect people while they are hiding.
Current wall coverings offer no ballistic protection.
Therefore, we are teaching people to hide, when in actuality, there is little to no effective protection from an active shooter.
As members of the security industry, how do we develop and make available truly effective safe spaces within our nation’s classrooms?
Assuming we could create and provide such spaces, how might we prepare small children in advance of an emergency situation, to become familiar and accustomed to utilizing these spaces.
By combining these two lines of thought, providing a cost-effective ballistically protected space and preparing third graders and younger to comfortably utilize these spaces without instilling fear in them or alarming of them, Doug came up with a truly innovative approach utilizing mobile wall panels manufactured by Amulet™ Ballistics Technology and named them the “Land of Blue Trees.”
(Learn about Amulet Ballistic Technology, and why the security industry is the fastest growing market in the world today, and for good reason…threats to public safety have never been greater. Courtesy of Amulet Protective Technologies and YouTube. Posted on Sep 15, 2017)
Student and Faculty Emergency Response Security Training (SaFERST)
To introduce the concepts to young children, Doug created a book to illustrate how learning about security can be a fun activity, and within the pages lays the foundation for the Land of Blue Trees in a safe, non-threatening manner for children to become familiar with, before a negative event takes place.
In the book, Pip is the leader of the group, Doug explains. Along Pip’s journey to the Land of Blue Trees he meets other animals: his neighbor Ellani (a llama), Joey (a kangaroo), Orio (a zebra), Roor (a lion), Lugey (a camel), Noodle (a giraffe) and Magu (a deer).
The Land of Blue Trees is a fictional, magical, safe place where all of the animals play, sing, dance, clap and feel safe together.
The ballistic mobile wall panels can be used prior to an event as a reading space, craft or an activities space within a classroom.
“Pip and the Land of Blue Trees,” illustrates a cast of fictitious animal characters that become friends and walk together to the Land of Blue Trees, where they are safe together.
During their walk they learn four life safety lessons: ask permission before leaving the premises, don’t walk alone or at night, and look both ways before crossing the street.
These lessons seem innocuous enough and are “a no brainer” to most of us but in reality they set kids up for success later on in life.
Just as we teach age appropriate fire safety techniques through a variety of activities over the course of a student’s academic life, there is a fundamental need to teach safety and security strategies as well.
We all remember the first time we saw the fire truck and the fire dog.
We remember learning early on about how to “stop, drop and roll”, and as we got older, we were taught how to use a fire extinguisher, and how dial 911 to report a fire.
Hopefully, by high school most of us were offered basic first aid and CPR instruction. These are skills that help us navigate through life.
They teach us how to respond to challenges that might arise, and help us develop the confidence to take action if the unthinkable should occur.
Why shouldn’t there be the similar educational foundation and outline for our nation’s children to learn safety and security strategies as part of their life skills development?
Perhaps more now than ever, our children need to be taught how to safely navigate through today’s threat environments, wherever they find themselves.
About the Author:
Doug Haines, Owner and CEO of Haines Security Solutions, is a career security professional.
Doug retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1993 and has over 45 yrs experience in conducting physical security assessments and risk analysis.
A recognized expert in the security industry, Dough teaches physical security engineering standards to architects, engineers, planners, facillity managers, and others in the government and enterprise markets responsible for developing mitigation strategies and building design planning around the globe.
Doug is an active member of the Security Industry Association (SIA) and was recently selected as the ‘2016 SIA Sandra Jones Volunteer of the Year’ based on his lifelong commitment to sharing his extensive knowledge of building design and risk management process for DOD facilities to safeguarding individuals around the world.
Haines Security Solutions a Double Winner in the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program
Most Innovative New Solution of the Year
Student & Faculty Emergency Response Training [SaFERST]
Best User & Best Risk Analysis Methodology
Critical Asset & Infrastructure Risk Analysis (CAIR Methodology)
*Doug Haines and Haines Security Solutions were also recognized in the 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards at https://americansecuritytoday.com/ast-awards/.
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