For three years, Grand County Sheriff’s Deputy Curt Brewer served as the school resource officer for the Grand County School District.
While serving in that role, one of his responsibilities was to help conduct lockdown drills and active shooter trainings. It was during this time that Brewer realized that in a real-life lockdown situation, students could end up hiding out in their classrooms for an extended period of time.
“They may not be able to leave the classroom for two to three hours,” he said.
Depending on the classroom, this might mean no access to food or water. Or even worse, the bathroom.
That’s when Brewer came up with the idea of Emergency Lockdown buckets that could be kept in every classroom. The buckets will contain water, energy bars and first-aid equipment.
“We’re not talking Band-aids and Neosporin,” Brewer said, adding that the first-aid kit includes items like heavy gauze and tourniquets designed to help stop heavy bleeding. Brewer said that all teachers have been trained how to use those supplies.
Once the bucket has been emptied, it serves an additional purpose: as a toilet. The kit includes liners for inside the bucket, as well as a padded seat for students to sit on, and a tarp that can be used as a curtain to offer the students some semblance of privacy.
“We’re just trying to make sure that the students are as comfortable as possible, even in an uncomfortable situation,” Brewer said.
With help from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office and local businesses, Brewer has already assembled 100 of the approximately 180 buckets he hopes to make available in every classroom, including those at the Grand Preschool and Moab Charter School.
Brewer has enlisted help from area businesses to help fill the buckets, and he said the community has really come together to support the effort.
“I’ve gone around and gathered donations from businesses around town,” he said, adding that he’s received financial donations anywhere from $30 to $500.
However, businesses haven’t just donated money.
“They’d donated buckets, energy bars and water,” he said. “They’ve also offered us reduced prices on other items to help offset the cost.”
According to Brewer, the project started a year and a half ago, while he was still serving as the school resource officer.
“It’s taken a lot of time, and a lot of money, but I really appreciate all the support,” he said. “This isn’t for me. It’s for the kids in our schools, to try and make them a little more comfortable.”
Donors include True Value, Emery Telecom, Packard’s Distributing, Nelson’s Heating and Refrigeration, Questar, Rick’s Glass, Central Utah Insurance, South Town Gym, Gianne Fosse, Moab Diner, Red Cliffs Lodge, Quint Star Management, Moab Power Sports, City Market, Zax Restaurant, Knowles Home Furnishings, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, the Grand County School District and Grand County Emergency Medical Services.