Emergency Response Plan

  • INTRODUCTION

    School safety is the job of the entire school community. This effort requires leadership and coordination by school administration and involvement and participation from all sectors of the school community. Planning, conducting drills and participating in exercises with law enforcement, fire, emergency officials and other members of the school community ensure a comprehensive, unified approach to school emergency response planning. Building relationships and community engagement are vital to building a safer school community.

    The purpose of the school Emergency Response Plan (ERP) is to help school officials identify and respond to potential emergencies by assigning responsibilities and duties of the school employees, students, families, and community stakeholders. It is important to develop, maintain, train and exercise ERPs in order to respond quickly before, during and after an incident. A well-developed and practiced ERP provides parents/guardians and the community reassurance that the school has established guidelines and procedures to respond to threats and hazards efficiently and effectively. The Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District uses the New York State planning format in meeting legislative mandates contained in 8 NYCRR Section 155.17 and provides the use of best practices to improve outcomes following emergency situations.

    The organization of this plan supports two key practices that have been adopted in New York State. First, the Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District Emergency Response Plan provides standardized language that is consistent with current national emergency response protocols. Secondly, consistent formatting within the PCSCSD ERP aligns critical information necessary to improve rapid response to emergencies together in the following sections:

    • The Basic Plan
    • Functional Annexes
    • Threat/Hazard-Specific Annexes

    The PCSCSD Plan standardizes language and provides a structured framework similar to statewide plans. Individualized policies and procedures have been developed locally based on the Phelps-Clifton Springs School District’s unique circumstances and resources. Tools to manage an emergency along with response procedures have been developed through threat assessments, safety audits, planning, and training. The Phelps-Clifton Springs Emergency Response Plan, in conjunction with the New York State Guide to School Emergency Response, provides for the development of annexes to meet each school’s unique circumstances.

    In the “Functional Annexes” portion of the plan there is a focus on critical operational functions within the school district and the courses of action developed to carry them out. To ensure consistency, the school district, as well as New York State, will use standardized definitions and operational practices for the following Functional Annexes:

    • Shelter-In-Place
    • Hold-In-Place
    • Evacuation
    • Lockout
    • Lockdown

    These five Functional Annexes provide a common foundation for response to all emergencies. The intent is to create an environment where students, school staff, and emergency responders recognize the language and procedures provided no matter what school building they are visiting.

    Actions and best practices have been outlined in the Threat/Hazard Annexes section of the Building Emergency Response Plan, which includes details on what to do in the event of various emergencies.

    A copy of the building level safety plan and any amendments thereto, shall be kept on file with the appropriate local law enforcement agencies and with the New York State Police.

    Each school year, the Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District shall conduct the required number of safety drills, which will include drills from the list of “Functional Annexes” listed above in addition to the traditional fire evacuation drill.

    THE BASIC PLAN

    The District shall institute and maintain a Safety Team. The Safety Team shall include school personnel and local emergency agency representatives.

    The Safety Team is responsible for the overall development, maintenance, and revision of the Emergency Response Plan (ERP) and for coordinating training and exercising the School ERP.

    The complete Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District Emergency Response Plan shall be distributed to the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department and the NYS Police Department. The PCSCSD ERP shall be updated and maintained and dates of redistribution recorded.

    The school district shall take into consideration the following possible emergencies, but not excluding other possible emergencies.

    Threat and
    Hazard Types

    Examples

    Natural Hazards:

    Earthquakes Tornadoes Lightning Severe wind Hurricanes Floods Wildfires Extreme temperatures Landslides or mudslides Winter precipitation Wildlife

    Technological Hazards:

    Explosions or accidental release of toxins from industrial plants Accidental release of hazardous materials from within the school, such as gas leaks or laboratory spills Hazardous materials releases from major highways or railroads Radiological releases from nuclear power stations Dam failure Power failure Water failure

    Biological Hazards:

    Infectious diseases, such as pandemic influenza, extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, Staphylococcus aureus, and meningitis Contaminated food outbreaks, including Salmonella, botulism, and E. coli Toxic materials present in school laboratories

    Adversarial, Incidental, and Human-caused Threats:

    Fire, Active shooters Criminal threats or actions Gang violence Bomb threats Domestic violence and abuse Cyberattacks

     

    Concept of Operations

    The overall strategy of a PCSCSD ERP is to execute effective and timely decisions and actions that prevent harm, protect lives and property, mitigate damages, restore order, and aid recovery. This plan is based upon the concept that the incident management functions that must be performed by the school generally parallel some of their daily routine functions. To the extent possible, the same personnel and material resources used for daily activities will be employed during incidents. Because personnel and equipment resources are limited, some routine functions that do not contribute directly to the incident may be suspended. The personnel, equipment, and supplies that would typically be required from those routine functions will be redirected to accomplish assigned incident management tasks.

    Implementation of NaviGate-Incident Command System (ICS)

    The NaviGate-Incident Command System (ICS) will be used to manage all incidents and major planned events/drills. The Incident Commander at the school will be delegated the authority to direct all incident activities within the school’s jurisdiction.

    Initial Response

    School personnel are likely to be the first on the scene of an incident in a school setting. Staff and faculty are expected to respond as appropriate and notify the Principal, or designee, until command is transferred to someone more qualified and/or to an emergency response agency with legal authority to assume responsibility (Police, Fire or EMS, dependent upon the nature of the incident). Staff will seek guidance and direction from the school district and emergency responders.

    Any staff person or faculty in a building that sees, or is aware of, an emergency shall activate the ERP.

    Organization and Assignment of Responsibilities

    The PCSCSD recognizes the operational organization that will be relied upon to manage an incident.

    The Incident Commander is not able to manage all of the aspects associated with an incident without assistance. The school relies on other key school personnel to perform tasks that will ensure the safety of students and staff during a crisis or incident. The Rapid Responder -Incident Command System (ICS) uses a team approach to manage incidents. Each staff member and volunteer must be familiar with his or her role and responsibilities before an incident occurs.

    Principal

    The principal (or their designee) will serve as the Incident Commander and designate a minimum of two qualified individuals to serve as alternates in the event that the principal is unable to serve in that role. At all times, the principal still retains the ultimate responsibility for the overall safety of students and staff.

    Responsibilities include:

    • Provide direction and overall incident management actions
    • Take steps necessary to ensure the safety of students, staff, and others
    • Determine which emergency protocols to implement
    • Coordinate/Cooperate with emergency responders
    • Keep the Superintendent informed of the situation

    Teachers/Teaching Assistants/Substitute Teachers/Student-Teachers

    Teachers shall be responsible for the supervision of students and shall remain with students unless directed to do otherwise.

    Responsibilities include:

    • Supervise students under their charge.
    • Take steps to ensure the safety of students, staff, and other individuals.
    • Take attendance when class relocates to an inside or outside designated area or to an evacuation site.
    • Report missing students to the appropriate Emergency Response Team Member.
    • Execute assignments as directed by the Incident Commander.
    • Obtain first aid services for injured students from the school nurse or person trained in first aid. Arrange for first aid for those who are unable to be moved.
    • Render first aid or CPR if certified and deemed necessary.

    Counselors, Social Workers & School Psychologists

    Responsibilities include:

    • Take steps to ensure the safety of students, staff and other individuals.
    • Provide appropriate direction to students.
    • Render first aid, CPR, and/or psychological aid if trained to do so.
    • Assist in the transfer of students, staff, and others when their safety is threatened by an emergency.
    • Administer counseling services as deemed necessary during, or after, an incident.
    • Execute assignments as directed by the Incident Commander.

    School Nurse/Health Assistant

    Responsibilities include:

    • Administer first aid or emergency treatment as needed.
    • Supervise the administration of first aid by those trained to provide it.
    • Organize first aid and medical supplies.
    • Execute assignments as directed by the Incident Commander.

    Custodial/Maintenance Staff

    Responsibilities include:

    • Survey and report building damage to the Incident Commander.
    • Control main shutoff valves for gas, water, and electricity. Ensure that no hazard results from broken or downed lines.
    • Provide damage control as needed.
    • Assist in the conservation, use, and disbursement of supplies and equipment.
    • Control locks and physical security as directed by the Incident Commander.
    • Keep Incident Commander informed of the condition of the school.
    • Execute assignments as directed by the Incident Commander.

    Principal’s Secretary/Office Secretaries

    Responsibilities include:

    • Answer phones and assist in receiving/providing consistent information to callers.
    • Provide for the safety of essential school records and documents.
    • Provide assistance to the Incident Commander/Principal.
    • Monitor radio emergency broadcasts.
    • Execute assignments as directed by the Incident Commander.

    Food Service/Cafeteria Workers

    Responsibilities include:

    • Prepare and serve food and water on a rationed basis whenever the feeding of students and staff becomes necessary during an incident.
    • Execute assignments as directed by the Incident Commander.

    Bus Drivers

    Responsibilities include:

    • Supervise the care of students if a disaster occurs while students are on the bus.
    • Transfer students to an assigned location when directed.
    • Execute assignments as directed by the Incident Commander.

    Other Staff

    Responsibilities include:

    • Execute assignments as directed by the Incident Commander.

    Students

    Responsibilities include:

    • Cooperate during emergency drills.
    • Follow directions given by faculty and staff.
    • Be aware of student emergency actions and assist fellow students in an incident.
    • Report situations of concern (e.g. “If you see something, say something.”)
    • Develop an awareness of the high priority threats/hazards. Take measures to protect against and mitigate those threats/hazards.

    Parents/Guardians

    Responsibilities include:

    • Encourage and support school safety, violence prevention, and incident preparedness programs within the school.
    • Provide the school with requested information concerning the incident, early/late dismissals, and other related release information.
    • Listen to and follow directions as provided by the School District.

    Rapid Responder-School Incident Command System

    To provide for effective direction, control and coordination of an incident, the School ERP will be activated through the implementation of the Rapid Responder -Incident Command System (ICS). Staff are assigned to serve within the RR-ICS structure based on their expertise, training, and the needs of the incident. Roles should be pre-assigned based on training and qualifications.

    Training and Exercises

    The PCSCSD understands the importance of training, drills, and exercises in being prepared to deal with an incident. To ensure that school personnel and community responders are aware of their responsibilities under the School ERP, the following training and exercise actions should occur.

    • Minimum of 12 drills (e.g. fire drills, lockdown drills, etc.) each school year.
    • The emergency response plan shall be tested, including sheltering and early dismissal drills (no earlier than 15 minutes before normal dismissal).

    FUNCTIONAL ANNEXES

    The PCSCSD shall employ the following functional annexes.

    Shelter-In-Place, Hold-In-Place, Evacuation, Lockout, Lockdown

    1. Shelter-in-Place

    Purpose: A Shelter-in-Place annex describes courses of action when students and staff are required to remain indoors, perhaps for an extended period of time, because it is safer inside the building or a room than outside. Depending on the threat or hazard, students and staff may be required to move to rooms that can be sealed (such as in the event of a chemical or biological hazard) or without windows, or to a weather shelter (such as in the event of a tornado).

    Specific actions and directions have been excluded from the public version of the District Emergency Response Plan for security reasons.

    2. Hold-in-Place

    Purpose: If there is an internal incident or administrative matter such as students fighting in a hallway, a maintenance issue or medical emergency that requires students and staff movement be limited, a “Hold-in-Place” may be initiated. This is intended to keep students and staff out of the affected area until the situation can be rectified.

    Specific actions and directions have been excluded from the public version of the District Emergency Response Plan for security reasons.

    3. Evacuation

    Purpose: This annex focuses on the courses of action that the PCSCSD will execute to evacuate school buildings and grounds. Included are school policies and procedures for on-site and off-site evacuation including evacuation routes, transportation needs, and shelter sites.

    Evacuation should take place if it is determined that it is safer outside than inside the building (fire, explosion, intruder, hazardous material spill) and staff, students and visitors can safely reach the evacuation location without danger.

    Specific actions, directions, and locations have been excluded from the public version of the District Emergency Response Plan for security reasons.

    4. Lockout

    Purpose:

    This annex describes the courses of action the PCSCSD will execute to secure school buildings and grounds during incidents that pose an imminent concern outside of the school. The primary objective of a lockout is to quickly ensure all school staff, students, and visitors are secured in the school building away from the outside danger.

    Specific actions and directions have been excluded from the public version of the District Emergency Response Plan for security reasons.

    5. Lockdown

    Purpose:

    This annex describes the courses of action the PCSCSD will execute to secure school buildings and grounds during incidents that pose an immediate threat of violence in or around the school. The primary objective of a lockdown is to quickly ensure all school staff, students and visitors are secured in rooms away from immediate danger. Specific actions and directions have been excluded from the public version of the District Emergency Response Plan for security reasons.

    Crime Scene Management

    Purpose:

    The PCSCSD has outlined procedures for securing and restricting access to a potential school district crime scene in order to preserve evidence in cases of violent crimes on school property. Specific actions and directions have been excluded from the public version of the District Emergency Response Plan for security reasons.

    Communications

    Purpose:

    The PCSCSD ERP includes communication and coordination during, and following, emergencies and disasters, both internal and external communication. Procedures include emergency notification of persons in parental relation. The PCSCSD ERP includes policies and procedures governing school incident communications with law enforcement and emergency responders, as well as with students, parents, staff, the school community, and the media.

    Medical and Mental Health Emergency Annex

    Purpose:

    The PCSCSD ERP outlines the course of action the district will implement to address emergency medical (e.g. first aid) and mental health issues. The PCSCSD will coordinate these efforts with appropriate local emergency medical services, local law enforcement, local fire department, and local emergency management representatives. Specific actions and directions have been excluded from the public version of the District Emergency Response Plan for security reasons.

    Accounting for All Persons & Reunification

    Purpose:

    The PCSCSD has developed a course of action to account for the whereabouts of students, staff, and visitors while identifying those who may be missing. Each PCSCSD building principal shall maintain their own unique reunification annex that details a safe and secure means of reuniting parents/guardians with their children in the event of an emergency.

    Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)

    Purpose:

    The PCSCSD has outlined a plan in which a school and/or school district will ensure that essential functions continue during an emergency and its immediate aftermath. This plan includes the continuity of essential functions including business services (payroll and purchasing), communication (internal and external), computer and systems support, facilities maintenance, safety and security, and continuity of teaching and learning.

    THREAT AND HAZARD SPECIFIC ANNEXES

    Purpose:

    The PCSCSD has developed annexes to ensure that there are procedures in place to protect students/staff and school property in the event of; an active shooter on school grounds in a school building, actual bomb materials or bomb threats on school grounds, and/or pandemic preparedness. Specific actions and directions have been excluded from the public version of the District Emergency Response Plan for security reasons.