In Your Hand

Tools for Safety Ministry

Security guard on walkie talkie

Gearing Up for Safety

The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff" (Exodus 4:2).

And he made all the utensils of the altar, the pots, the shovels, the basins, the forks, and the fire pans. He made all its utensils of bronze (Exodus 38:3)

The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm (Isaiah 44:12a).

So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheell (Jeremiah 18:3).

She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle (Proverbs 31:19).

My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle (Job 7:6).


Tools for the Work

In the verses above are a few of the many tools used for different tasks in Bible times. Uses of these tools ranged from handling sacrifices in the Tabernacle and Temple, to making pottery, thread, and fabric, to fashioning tools. When the Lord asked Moses what that was in his hand, he answered, "A staff." That might not mean much to us today, but 3,500 years ago the staff was an all-purpose tool. Besides being a walking stick, it was an animal prod, a long reach, a pry bar, and a defensive weapon, among other uses.

Today, there are several tools and supplies which prove useful in a Church Safety Ministry. Medical equipment and supplies were covered in May. Weapons (lethal and less-than-lethal), educational materials, clothing, communication equipment, and evacuation aids are covered in other articles in this series. Equipment ranges from basic supplies to items Church Safety Team members can carry with them. Not all, but some of these are available in the Sheepdog Church Security Store on Amazon[1].

Basic Supplies

While team members focus on what they use while covering their jobs on a weekly basis, it is easy to overlook basic supplies which are out of mind until they are needed. Among these are office supplies, housekeeping items, and basic safety supplies.

Office

Safety Ministry office supplies include applications and forms. Also needed is a place to keep blank applications/forms and a secure cabinet or drawer in which to keep those which are filled out.

Each person joining a Safety Ministry must fill out an application. Background reports and reference check results will be attached to or filed with these applications. These need to be kept as long as they are relevant or required. Since they are confidential, they must be kept secure, safe from casual curiosity, while available if needed.

Blank forms are needed for filling out and filing reports, taking inventory, and conducting evaluations, and inspections. Since these will be used from time to time, especially incident reports, the Safety Director should be aware of how many there are in order to know when to get or print more. Those that are filled out need a place to be filed. They may have to be brought out for insurance claims or legal cases following an incident, such as an accident with injury or a citizen's arrest.

Housekeeping and Basic Safety

Some tools and supplies relate to housekeeping. The Safety Team is not replacing custodial staff, but the team does have some housekeeping interest related to safety.

First of all, if the Safety Team has an office, then they should be keeping it clean. This means they need a broom and dustpan or a vacuum cleaner to pick up loose dirt on the floor, and paper towels or rags for dusting. Of course, every office needs a wastebasket.

Also needed on hand are safety signage and cleanup items for public areas (such as paper towels, brooms, and a mop) to take care of short-term hazards. Winter may necessitate salt and/or sand as well as water-catcher doormats for entries. The mats are also needed for rainy days. These items and others must be covered in the Safety Ministry budget unless they (for instance, cleaning items) are already included in other budgets, such as custodial.

Handy Tools

There are items we usually think of as tools, such as saws, hammers, and screwdrivers. A few tools useful for church safety include pry bar, cutter, tech knife, tech light, and glass breaker. There are others which may come to mind, so this list is not all-inclusive. For now, let's see how these may be used in protecting the flock.

Pry Bar

This may sound like an odd tool to keep on hand for church safety and security, but there are situations when a pry bar, or something to take its place, is vital. Think natural disaster, such as an earthquake, tornado, or hurricane. Think human-caused disaster, such as an explosion, a vehicle crashing into the building, or a bombing.

Now remember news scenes of such disasters, with rescuers pulling debris out of the way to free survivors. If you and others are trapped by debris from a collapse - such as might block the door of a storm shelter - a pry bar may help you open the way for survivors to get out and responders to get in. For some it may be the difference between life and death. A pry bar may also open the jammed door on a wrecked vehicle to rescue its occupants.

Cutter

Everyone knows dozens of uses for cutters. A safety team member could use one to quickly open a box of emergency supplies. It could cut the seat & shoulder belt of someone trapped in a car if they need immediate treatment (such as bleeding control) or if the vehicle is starting to burn. It could cut cloth into emergency bandages or wrappings if medical supplies have run out or are not on hand.

Tech Knife

A tech knife can do what a cutter does and more. The Schrade Knife[2] in the Sheepdog Church Security Store has a serrated part of the blade which can be used as a saw. Being sturdier, it can cut things which are too hard or too thick for a cutter. It can also double as a glass breaker for emergency evacuations. Being a knife with a 2.9" blade, the Schrade is also a defensive weapon.

There are other multi-purpose knives available. Many have so many features that they are called "multi-tools," with knife blades, pliers, screwdrivers, can openers, etc. However, most multi-tools take a while to open for use. The Schrade has the advantage of self-opening with the push of a button, then locking in place so the blade does not close while being used.

Also available in the SDCS Store is the Gerber Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit[3], which has three knives, two machetes, a parang (back-hook knife), and a hatchet. This may be handy in severe emergencies, but it costs much more than the Schrade. However, it does provide versatility and can supply several team members at once.

Tech Light

Flashlights are key items for security and safety. For one thing, they enable you to see when the power is out. For another, they light up dark corners and unlit rooms. You can also guide responders to where you are.

Tech lights are more than just flashlights. They were first developed for mounting on rifles to light up targets. A key feature is being able to narrow the beam to a pinpoint for a greater precision. Most now have LED illumination and control chips. Many can flash in a number of ways: slow-paced flashes, Morse Code signals (such as SOS), strobe flashes, etc.

The UltraFire LED Flashlight[4] in the SDCS Store has 5 modes of light: high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS (‧‧‧ --- ‧‧‧). It has a military grade body, weighs 2.4 ounces, is pocket-sized, and is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery. A key feature is the detachable traffic control wand for use in directing traffic or an evacuation.

Glass Breaker

If someone is trapped in a car and cannot open the window, or if you are in a room and have to evacuate, but the hallway is unusable, a glass breaker is essential. If you have one in your pocket - it may be part of another tool - you can break a window.

What's in Your Hand?

The Lord asked Moses, "What's that in your hand?" Moses would need his staff for the work ahead. For Church Safety Team members, situations arise when we need something in our hands. It may not be a staff, but it should be the right tool for protecting the flock.

There Is More

Other articles in this series are "Read Up, Put On" (manuals and clothing). "Get the Message, Get Out" (communication equipment and evacuation aids), "Defensive Gear" (lethal and less-than-lethal weapons), and "Trained and Certified" (getting trained, qualified, and certified for using needed equipment safely and legally).

References

  1. Sheepdog Church Security Store [https://www.amazon.com/shop/instructor_moloney].
  2. Schrade SCHA3BS 7.3in High Carbon S.S. Assisted Opening Folding Knife, Sheepdog Church Security Store [https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BCMPYQ0/?cv_ct_id=amzn1.idea.1ERD68BB0JGWR&cv_ct_pg=storefront&cv_ct_wn=aip-storefront&ref=exp_cov_instructor_moloney_dp_vv_d].
  3. Gerber Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit, Sheepdog Church Security Store [https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00842AIX0/?cv_ct_id=amzn1.idea.1ERD68BB0JGWR&cv_ct_pg=storefront&cv_ct_wn=aip-storefront&ref=exp_cov_instructor_moloney_dp_vv_d].
  4. UltraFire Led Flashlight, Sheepdog Church Security Store [https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DRHZWYV/?cv_ct_id=amzn1.idea.1ERD68BB0JGWR&cv_ct_pg=storefront&cv_ct_wn=aip-storefront&ref=exp_cov_instructor_moloney_dp_vv_d].