Mentor Schools purchase 500 BEARACADE safety devices - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Mentor Schools purchase 500 BEARACADE safety devices

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Americans have had to bear witness to several mass casualties during the last decade as a result of calculated deadly shootings.

Gunmen targeting dozens of schools like Virginia Tech University, Sandy Hook Elementary School and workplaces, and military bases around the country have rocked the nation at its core.

One common thread among the shootings was the inability to quickly and effectively barricade interior doors.

These incidents also inspired two men, Bill Cushwa and Dave Soulsby, to take action to ensure the safety of their families and children's schools.

The Hudson residents worked with school administrators and safety forces throughout the Midwest, and invented the BEARACADE Door Control System.

"Dave and I wanted a lightweight, but strong, device someone could deploy very quickly.  When hostile intruder events are over in minutes, seconds count.  We didn't want the delay or chaos of trying to find items in a room to barricade a door.  We also needed to work within the confines of building and fire codes," says Cushwa.

"We knew we could engineer and manufacture a solution here in Ohio that would work anywhere.  In the BEARACADE, we have incorporated so much input from so many people, that our research and development is quickly being welcomed."

The pair joined forces with Design Molded Plastics in Twinsburg to utilize high impact injection molded polymers to construct BEARCADE.

"After the advanced manufacturing process, we turned to the great people at Hattie Larlham and partnered with them for subassembly, packaging, and order fulfillment through their Hattie's Assembly division in downtown Akron.  BEARACADE units are now being shipped throughout the country," added Soulsby.

This week, Mentor Public Schools received their shipment of 500 devices that will be ready for the start of the 2014-15 school year.  "We are going to install the BEARACADE system in our schools.  We consulted out police and fire departments and they are very supportive of our district using the BEARACADE," noted Mentor superintendent Matthew Miller.

Introduced in 2013 at the Ohio School Board Association Conference, BEARACADE has been demonstrated to a national audience at the National School Boards Association Conference and National Catholic Education Association Conference.  

"My impression is that this device would be, if not a perfect solution, the best yet to helping school staff protect children and helping safety forces operate in response to a hostile intruder/active shooter incident," says retired Hudson Fire Chief Bob Carter.

"A great concept to help protect students and staff from an unauthorized intruder in a school.  Simple to use for staff and students of all grade levels," says retired Bedford Police Chief Gregory A. Duber.

In July, they will be presenting BEARACADE at national school safety conferences from California to Florida.

Formed in Hudson, Ohio in May 2013, National School Control Systems was formed around the patent-pending and trademarked device, BEARACADE.  

In addition to BEARACADE, National School Control Systems provides Emergency Operations Planning wayfinder signs and ballistic glass treatments for schools and businesses.  

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