St. Clair County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Jeff Friedland attended a federal Department of Homeland Security meeting recently, called "Sandy Hook Lessons Learned". The two day session was held with educators, public safety leaders, and various government officials. Speakers included the Governor of Connecticut, and the acting Homeland Security Secretary. The group shared personal stories about the Sandy Hook shooting from last year and the impact it's had on the educational system and school safety procedures.
Discussed were efforts to enhance the existing Integrated Rapid Visual Screening (IRVS) process. In addition, a specific IRVS program was discussed for schools. Officials call it a quick and simple computer tool designed to determine initial or relative risk and resilience for buildings based on visual inspections. Connecticut's governor praised the effort, describing the IRVS as a "meaningful tool for schools and jurisdictions across the nation." Meanwhile, Friedland says the trip was extremely beneficial for Saint Clair County. He said the invitation came about because of local use of the IRVS tool during the past year. Friedland says "It's proven to be a good tool for a confidential all-hazard assessment of facilities throughout county." Friedland also says it has allowed his department to identify areas of concern within facilities ranging from construction elements to cyber-attacks.