Workshop prepares Clearview staff, first responders for emergencies

Clearview held an emergency preparedness workshop on Sept. 19 with representatives from schools, RCMP, fire, towns and counties.

Clearview Public Schools and Hour Zero hosted a workshop on emergency preparedness with more than 48 representatives from schools, RCMP, fire departments, towns and counties on Monday, Sept. 19.

“Ensuring our schools are safe is the expectation of parents and a responsibility we take very seriously,” said Superintendent Peter Barron. “We have been working over the past six months to implement this process, which was one of the strategic priorities put in place last year.”

The workshop was held as part of the process to develop a new standard in incident response plans in all schools, according to a media release earlier in the week. Hour Zero has been contracted to help ensure the safety of all students and staff.

The emergency program Hour Zero gives schools the training and tools necessary to prepare for and respond to potential emergencies.

Working with all Clearview schools, the organization will create and maintain an effective emergency response program that is consistent throughout the school division, according to the media release.

The planning will include Hour Zero representatives visiting each school starting Monday, Sept. 26, and collaborating with school principals to identify evacuation routes, procedures, and suitable spaces in the event where “lockdowns” or “shelter-in-place” protocols are needed.

“Incident response plans prepare schools for situations we need to deal with, and we hope that never happens. But being prepared will help protect people and could save lives,” said Board Chair Cheri Neitz. “This is something I have advocated for along with the board, and am proud to see this important initiative come forward, staff working together to ensure our students are safe.”

Clearview school staff will be trained to know how to react in an emergency along with school safety drills, which will prepare both staff and students on how best to react during and after an incident. However, younger students and their teachers will have resources such as comic books to help them understand the correct responses to an emergency.