SAFETY is of paramount importance. Whatever steps needed to safeguard our students, teachers and other staff members should be utilized.

Resource officers help the cause. However, many school districts, especially those here in the Ohio Valley, do not have the money to employ one.

One effective tool training in thwarting antagonists is being presented in several local schools. It is ALICE which stands for Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate.

It is designed to educate staff and teachers to know what to do if there is a shooter in their respective school.

Two Martins Ferry police officers presented ALICE to the city’s school district personnel Monday. It was embraced by all those in attendance.

The beauty of ALICE is that its safety lessons are not confined to just the classroom. That point was brought to the forefront Friday at the Belmont County EMA headquarters.

Bethany Hayes, director of safety and security from Zane State College and OUE-Zanesville, demonstrated the class for Belmont County Public Safety Employees. The training showed those workers in a more public setting on how to fight back, counter and evacuate in the event of a shooter.

According to Martins Ferry Police Sgt. Bob Walton, the importance of ALICE is to introduce other options to increase survival. What more can you ask for of a program?

The big key is for those being trained to buy into ALICE. Hopefully, ALICE will never need to put into motion in a real-life situation, but if it does, those charged with carrying out the specific safety measures have only one chance to get it right.

Should ALICE save just a single life, the training is well worth it.