Emergency Preparedness


Overview
Schools must prepare to deal with the same types of emergencies that threaten any workplace or home. Fires, natural disasters, contagious diseases and potential criminal activity require clear preventive and response measures.

In support of our priority to maintain student and staff safety, schools and the supervisory union will review current emergency management protocols and develop coordinated emergency operations plans during the 2016-17 school year. This effort will require close collaboration with local community agencies, which began in July 2016. 

Following state recommended best practices, we will create school-level teams to manage school based planning and develop an OSSU Public Safety Team with representation from law enforcement, emergency management, fire departments, rescue, transportation, and mental health. The purpose of this team is to assist school teams in their work and also to develop regional-level crisis support efforts since OSSU must be prepared to coordinate across six towns and four counties. This work consists of 
mapping out the four phases of emergency management:
  • Prevention-Mitigation: Identifying all potential hazards and vulnerabilities and reducing the potential damage they can cause;
  • Preparedness: Collaborating with community partners to develop plans and protocols to prepare for the possibility that the identified hazards, vulnerabilities or emergencies will occur;
  • Response: Working closely with first responders and community partners to effectively contain and resolve an emergency in, or around, a school or campus; and
  • Recovery: Teaming with community partners to assist students and staff in the healing process, and restore a healthy and safe learning environment following an emergency event.

Teams

The Agency of Education and Vermont Emergency Management recommend creating a system with the following teams. We are currently seeking a community member from one of our towns to join the OSSU Public Safety Team. For more information, please contact Marina Chapman at 595-3924 or mchapman@ossu.org:


School

OSSU

School Crisis Team (1 per school)

OSSU Public Safety Team

School-level team that oversees the development of the School Emergency Operations Plan and school-level crisis initiatives.

Regional-level team that assists in the development of the School Emergency Operations Plan and developing regional-level crisis initiatives.

Members

Members

  • Principal/Associate Principal

  • Counselor/Student Assistance Person

  • Custodian

  • Main office admin assistant

  • School Nurse

  • Appropriate First Responders

  • Superintendent

  • School Crisis Team Reps

  • Emergency Management

  • Law Enforcement

  • Fire

  • Rescue

  • Transportation

  • VDH Emergency Preparedness Specialist

  • Designated Mental Health Agency

  • Community Member



Next Steps
A road map is already underway to accomplish this goal. Initial discussions with state school emergency planning management experts took place in early June, before the Hazen incident. Representatives from law enforcement, fire, rescue, emergency management, and mental health have been invited to join the process, starting with an introductory meeting on July 26th. School team members will attend state-sponsored trainings in early August. Teams will meet on a regular basis next year to develop and implement the plans at the school- and SU-level. Team members will also work to educate students and staff throughout the year, beginning next fall.