OAKHURST – Under the guidance of former Fresno police officer Dave Maynez, now Director of Campus Safety for Yosemite Unified School District (YUSD), some area schools have recently rolled out a forward-thinking Safe School Plan with multiple components that could make a big difference in the event of a natural disaster, criminal activity, fire or other emergency.
Among the recent implementations is a handy tech program that can be downloaded to Apple or Droid smart phone users: the Crisis Manager Mobile App. The mobile application is for students, parents, community and guests and is available to all schools within YUSD.
Originally from Reedley, California, Dave Maynez started his career in his own hometown, and after three years moved over to the Fresno force, where he stayed for 19 years for a total of 22 years in law enforcement. Maynez spent more than seven years on a motorcycle, and when he was injured in a crash and could no longer serve as a police officer, he changed course and was ultimately hired by YUSD for the security position, where he’s now in his second year. He’s also an instructor for the Yosemite High ROP program, Criminal Justice.
Maynez brings his skills and experience as a police officer, and last year completed the active shooter response program offered by ALICE Training Institute, one that he is sharing with administration, teachers, staff and students.
According to their website, “the purpose of ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training is to prepare individuals to handle the threat of an active shooter. ALICE teaches individuals to participate in their own survival, while leading others to safety. Though no one can guarantee success in this type of situation, this new set of skills will greatly increase the odds of survival should anyone face this form of disaster.”
Maynez says ALICE’s active shooter training offers a practical approach to a situation in which no one wants to find themselves. Once a shooting is underway, according to the security chief, it’s difficult for the brain to process information; this shocked state is one reason the word “surreal” is so often used by survivors to describe a public tragedy. Maynez knows — the husband and father was one officer on scene in an active shooter situation in 2012. Three were wounded and two died, including the gunman, in a case of workplace violence.
“We know if we don’t have a plan, we don’t believe it’s happening, ” Maynez says, citing situational awareness — being able to absorb and assess an incident as it’s taking place — as critical to survival in some emergencies. Situational awareness is defined as the ability to identify, process, and comprehend critical elements of information about what is happening. More simply, it’s knowing what is going on around you.
If an individual caught in an active shooting emergency has had some training on the subject, says Maynez, it’s possible he or she has a greater chance of survival, having anticipated some of the behavior and actions that can lead to safety. That’s the kind of training that ALICE provides, a program encouraged by Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney, says Maynez.
Teachers and freshman students at Yosemite High School have already had the training, which takes place in the Theater building, and the rest of the school’s student body are scheduled to complete the program next week, with Maynez leading the presentation.
While the chance of any district school encountering the kind of scenarios covered by ALICE remains remote, there is always the possibility of other sorts of emergency situations coming up. Fortunately, the YUSD Campus Safety department has an app for that.
“The program is called Crisis Manager and it is an all-in-one mobile solution that enables organizations to prepare for and disseminate emergency information via a mobile application,” the District explained to parents in a flyer that went home last August. “Paper-based emergency response planning information is converted into a dynamic, accessible plan which is stored in the cloud and downloaded directly to any authorized mobile device.”
When critical events occur, Crisis Manager provides access to essential information that is easy and intuitive for users to understand during an emergency. The application also allows for push notifications to help guide and direct users in an emergency situation or provide information relevant to a developing situation or event.
For those who take the time to download the app, which is easy to do, the District says “you will be made aware of any emergency action, drills, warnings or information that pertains to Safety and Security for YUSD.”
Crisis Manager has the potential to be instrumental in the event of an emergency, with more users leading to better communication should an event occur. It’s also reassuring to read through right now. With icons for links to emergency response phone numbers, info on school schedules, plans for evacuation, lockdown, duck and cover/earthquake, medical emergencies, active shooter response, shelter in place and even allergic reactions, the app includes a plan for seemingly everything, and clearly spells out the District’s policies for every event.
Maynez spends most of his time on the YUSD campuses and in his office at the district headquarters, now teaching one class each semester: Criminal Justice. The always-active class recently raised money to help out Mariposa County Deputy Sheriff Rudy Mirelez, who survived a shooting in the course of duty. Having benefited from assistance by his law enforcement family during his own career, Maynez knows the importance of the gesture. He is married to his Reedley High School sweetheart and together they have three grown daughters.
The Criminal Justice class came up with various ideas to benefit the deputy, including a bake sale, soliciting in their neighborhoods, and simply asking friends and family to donate.
“Due to their efforts, they raised $1,400,” says Maynez, adding that help came from a variety of people and places. “I wanted to teach the students about the ‘Thin Blue Line,'” says the retired officer, referring to “all Law Enforcement Officers, their friends and family, and how we take care of each other in time of need. Deputy Mirelez protected this community, therefore we need to take care of him. I am proud of these students and what they achieved.”
The Director of Campus Safety encourages everyone in the community to download the Crisis Manager App as a way of taking action in advance of necessity. Anyone with questions is welcome to contact Dave Maynez at the numbers below.
• For Apple users: Visit the Apple App Store and search Schooldude Crisis Manager
• For Droid users: Visit Google Play and search Schooldude Crisis Manager
Tap the icon on your device to get the application and then open the application.
Apple Users will be prompted when launching the app for the first time to allow or select “OK” when “Crisis Manager” requests to send push notifications
Select “Continue without Logging In”
Allow Crisis Manager to access your location.
Tap the “+” symbol in the right corner to add a plan
Locate and click + Client Plans. Scroll to near bottom and locate Yosemite USD.
Choose your individual school or all YUSD Safe School Plans to download the plan(s) to your phone.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact: Dave Maynez – Director of Campus Safety at (559) 683-8801 Ext. 387 or email firstname.lastname@example.org