Cleveland, Ga. schools get storm helmets for kids - KMSP-TV

Cleveland, Ga. schools get storm helmets for kids

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Students at Jack P. Nix Primary School showed off their tornado preparedness on Monday. Students at Jack P. Nix Primary School showed off their tornado preparedness on Monday.
CLEVELAND, Ga. -

A local Georgia police chief is taking actions to make sure students are prepared in case of a tornado.

In April 2011, 248 people died when a massive tornado outbreak ripped through Alabama. More than half of those killed, died of severe head injuries.

As FOX 5 reported, researchers at the University of Alabama found seeking shelter and doing a better job of protecting your head could make all the difference.

Cleveland, Ga. Police Chief John Foster saw a report about the importance of helmets and decided to take action.

"They were interviewing some experts and they were saying that if a child had a helmet, that the most severe injury they can sustain is a head injury, but if they had a helmet on, they could recover from a broken arm or leg," Foster said.

The chief realized he could pick up bicycle helmets for as little as $5 each. White County Schools Superintendent Jeff Wilson was all for the idea.

"Knowing that when we take a parent's child into our building, we have to do everything we can to protect those children," Wilson said.

David Murphy with the Emergency Management Association is convinced that the program could save lives.

"Anytime you take a direct hit on a building, it's going to be questionable as to how many lives you can save, but with these helmets on, it's definitely going to increase those percentages," said Murphy.

The police chief says he couldn't pull off his idea without the support of the community and parents. Thanks to donations, the school system has 1,966 helmets for every child from pre-K through fifth grade.

Students at Jack P. Nix Primary School showed off the helmets on Monday.

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