Schools and work sites throughout Clearview Public Schools are in the process of implementing a new incident response system, Hour Zero, which will help ensure all staff and students are supported and safe.
Implementation of enhanced incident response plans started the week of March 13.
According to Superintendent Peter Barron, incident planning covers a large spectrum of possible emergency situations including fire, intruders in the schools, and environmental events.
This has necessitated that all Clearview teachers and staff are trained to know how to best react in an emergency situation.
“Our younger students will be provided resources from teachers such as comic books to help them understand the correct responses to an emergency,” Barron said. “Hour Zero representatives have started visiting every school since Monday, March 13.”
School staff, including the School Emergency Response Teams (SERT), will be receiving on-site implementation and training on the actions needed in the event of an incident at the schools.
Also, Clearview’s Administration Response Team (ACT) received half-day training on Wednesday, March 15 on the roles, protocols, and actions needed to support schools in an incident, and how to coordinate system-wide incidences.
“Ensuring our schools are safe is the expectation of parents and a responsibility we take very seriously,” shared Superintendent Peter Barron. “We have been working over the past year to implement this process, which was one of the strategic priorities put in place last year.”
Hour Zero (hour-zero.com) is an emergency program that gives schools the training and tools needed to prepare for and respond to potential emergencies.
First responders in the communities, including the RCMP and fire departments, will have access to the Hour Zero tool and are invited for training.
The process for implementation kicked-off in September 2016 when Clearview Public Schools and Hour Zero hosted a working session with over 48 representatives from schools, RCMP, fire departments, towns and counties.
During the fall of 2016, Hour Zero representatives visited each school and collaborated with school principals to identify evacuation routes, procedures, and suitable spaces in the event of “lock-downs” or “shelter-in-place” when protocols are needed.
“Incident response plans prepare schools for situations we need to deal with, and we hope never happens. Being prepared will help protect people and could save lives,” said Board Chair Cheri Neitz. “This is something I’ve advocated for along with the board, and am proud to see this important initiative come forward, with staff working together to ensure our students are safe.”
Neitz added that included in the training will be the common language used by police, fire and emergency crews.
“Hour Zero is the best school emergency response program in all of North America and we feel it is necessary to implement a plan such as this for the safety of our students and staff.”