“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” –Benjamin Franklin
Monday through Friday, school personnel are responsible for keeping nearly ⅕ of their community’s population safe. Understandably, many teachers, staff, and administrators are not equipped to meet all hazards with the same level of readiness as professional responders. Communication and training are critical to ensure that school professionals are able to handle emergency situations before public safety officials arrive. That is why districts around the country, like Chardon Local Schools are utilizing MOTOTRBO digital two-way radios with the SchoolSAFE Network for selective and direct access to first responders during an emergency .
Chardon is comprised of six schools across three jurisdictions with over 3,000 students and 325 teachers and staff. In the past, thedistrict relied solely on walkie-talkie and phone communication; therefore, they faced common challenges such as poor connectivity, lack of compatibility between buildings, and inefficiencies reaching law enforcement, fire and EMS in emergencies. With new threats rapidly rising internally and externally, they needed a reliable solution. Read the case study to learn about their implementation of SchoolSAFE, including the training of the safety teams.
MOTOTRBO digital two-way radios and SchoolSAFE Communications emphasize accuracy and training for all school staff. SchoolSAFE exercises are conducted throughout the country to help each school establish or positively shape their school safety team. Legislature has been passed in various states for schools to utilize the Incident Management System (ICS), the same system that public safety utilizes during emergencies. The following activities can help ensure an operable Crisis Response Team at your school:
- Establish or review the membership of the school safety team
- Review the School Crisis Management Plan
- Emergency Management Institute (EMI) on-line coursework
Here are two excellent EMI courses that can help you improve safety planning at your school:
IS-362.A: Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools
IS-100.SCa Introduction to the Incident Command System for Schools
This preparation will ensure your staff feels well prepared to get the most from potential future trainings and exercises. Remember, school personnel ARE the first responders during an incident at a school. Having the right tools and training in place can make all the difference when your students need it most.