Mayfield Fire Department giving fire hoses to schools to use as door locks

MAYFIELD, KY — An old fire hose was something that would’ve been thrown away, but is now being used to lock doors and potentially save lives.

It started as an idea on Facebook, posted by a fire department in Arizona.

Darin French with the Mayfield Fire Department says the recent string of deadly school shootings across the country, including the Jan. 23 tragedy at Marshall County High School, motivated him to try it himself.

“Anytime you see something like that pop up on the news, it is heartbreaking and wrenching,” French said.

That’s what made him want to do something to protect the kids in his community.

“We’re service providers, so that’s what we do,” French said. “And any way we can help out, that’s what we’re gonna’ do.”

Used fire hose pieces were delivered to Graves County High School before classes started to be used as door locks.

The fire department will keep giving them out to schools in our area.

Principal Matthew Madding takes the safety of his students very seriously. “Hopefully, they won’t have to be used for anything other than a drill, but we do drill regularly. And every time we drill, the lockdown situations will be implemented.” Madding said.

Here’s how it works: Someone in the classroom puts the piece of hose on the automatic door closer at the top of the door. That makes it so the door can’t be opened at all. It’s quick, and more importantly, effective.

The hoses come in 50-foot sections, so one section can be cut up and provide locks for a whole school.

“They served their life, and now they can have another purpose.” French said about the hoses.

Although they are older hoses, they are still pretty strong.

“It’s a standard double-jacketed hose that we use for attack lines,” French said. “We keep a lot of pressure on them when we’re pumping water on them.”

Regular door locks can cost anywhere from $60 to$140 each.

Thinking about how many doors are in a school, that adds up to a lot of money many districts may not have.

“It gives us another avenue to provide a service for the community,”  French said — service to keep students and teachers safe and secure.

For more on this story and others, follow Pauline Fitzgerald on Facebook or Twitter.

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