Emer­gency Ac­tion Plan

The Covington News - - OPINION -

Dear Ed­i­tor: Once again, we see the ne­ces­sity of school sys­tems in even the qui­etest lo­ca­tions hav­ing a plan in place to deal with what hap­pened in New­town, Conn. Th­ese tragedies are hap­pen­ing more and more and both school sys­tems and busi­nesses must have an Emer­gency Ac­tion Plan in place, prac­ticed and ready in case the un­think­able hap­pens.

Here in New­ton County, it is im­per­a­tive that our school sys­tem im­ple­ment an EAP down to the class­room level. Ev­ery teacher, staff mem­ber, ad­min­is­tra­tor and stu­dent must know ex­actly what to do in var­i­ous sce­nar­ios. Ev­ery pub­lic safety agency in the county must be ac­tively in­volved along with med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties. It must also in­clude pro­vi­sions to call on out­side agen­cies at a mo­ments no­tice.

The plan must be prac­ticed like a fire drill, over and over pe­ri­od­i­cally to en­sure it will work if ever called on. I can re­call as a young stu­dent the merry at­ti­tude that ac­com­pa­nied a fire drill and how it meant get­ting out of school for a few min­utes. In 2012, this is no joke and deadly se­ri­ous. Any EAP must be re­hearsed to the point that it be­comes sec­ond na­ture to all in­volved.

A good plan should in­clude many pro­vi­sions. I would think it should in­clude dead bolt locks on class­room and ad­min­is­tra­tive doors, exit routes to in­clude win­dows on ground floors, hid­ing places, what­ever the alarm method would be, get­ting the PA sys­tem turned on as hap­pened in New­town and any other as­pect ex­perts can think of.

It’s time to act. There will be costs as­so­ci­ated with the Emer­gency Ac­tion Plan but imag­ine the costs the peo­ple of New­town are paying now. We live in an age where even the most unimag­in­able evil is no longer unimag­in­able. If it can hap­pen in New­town, it can hap­pen in New­ton.

John Dou­glas County Com­mis­sioner-Elect

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