Beginning last spring, schools in our District including Bertha Kennedy have been implementing new emergency procedures based upon the Incident Command System. This system has a number of protocols for different emergency situations that could be encountered at a school level. The Incident Command system is used across North America.
You are probably most familiar with the terms Fire Drill/Evacuation and Lockdown. We would like to inform you of some new protocols that we are training staff and students to perform as part of the Incident Command System.
- ON ALERT – When staff or students hear ON ALERT they return to their classrooms. If students or staff are outside the building they return to the building. Teachers verify attendance and await further instructions. Regular classroom activities occur. This protocol is used to indicate further protocols may be implemented.
- HOLD and SECURE – When staff or students hear HOLD and SECURE they return to their classrooms. If students or staff are outside the building they return to the building. Teachers take attendance and await further instructions. All exterior doors/windows are locked. Interior doors remain in normal state. Regular classroom activities occur. In this state, nobody is allowed to leave or enter the building. This is a heightened level of security from ON ALERT.
- SHELTER – IN – PLACE – This protocol is used to designate inside evacuation points for students and staff. It would be a procedure most commonly used during severe weather.
- LOCK DOWN – Students/staff move to closest room. All interior doors and windows are locked. Doors may be barricaded, if possible windows are covered, lights off and all remain quiet and take cover. Nobody is allowed in or out of the room until notified it is safe by the incident commander.
- EMERGENCY EVACUATION – This protocol is initiated by an announcement for an “Emergency Evacuation” or Fire Alarm. Staff member visually scans available evacuation routes. Students/staff exit room and proceed to nearest exit in an orderly fashion. Staff member ensures everyone is out, closes door and leaves status card. At Muster point staff member takes attendance and reports it using status cards to the incident commander.
- ALL CLEAR – Incident Commander uses ALL CLEAR when an incident is brought to a closure.
Our protocols also use a number of communication methods and status cards. Our school will continue to train staff and students in these protocols. If you would like more information regarding our procedures and protocols please contact the office.