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Delaware First Responders Map County's High Schools

DELAWARE (Tom Bosco/Kate Liebers) -- As a precautionary measure, emergency officials have photographed every corner of every high school in Delaware County.

They said this will help officers' response in case of an emergency -- intruder-related or otherwise.

"Obviously it is a scary feeling," said GIS specialist Melissa Lobdell, who took the photographs. "Yet (we) know that we're going to be able to help them."

Throughout the summer, Lobdell tried to collect every structural detail of Delaware County's high schools.

"We basically went out and took pictures of every room, every area, theater, catwalks, everything," she said.

Her efforts are a response to school shootings -- like ones at Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Chardon High -- where first responders went into the buildings blind.

Now, if such an emergency were to happen in a Delaware County high school, responders could get a 360-degree view of any area of the building.

The system can be used for more than intruder-related situations.

During severe weather or a fire, officers could use these images to determine the location of utilities or flammable materials in science labs.

"It's kind of a pre-planning sort of a thing," said Sean Miller of the Delaware County EMA. "If anything does happen, this is a resource that is available."
 
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