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Schools to face worst-case simulation



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August 11, 2010 - Clarkston Community Schools is preparing for a chemical spill in the fall, a worst-case simulation also involving Lake Orion and Oxford school districts.

Last year the three districts were awarded a $249,074 Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Grant to fund their expanded emergency management plans.

Interim Superintendent David Reschke updated the school board Monday night on the joint effort.

"It has been a real plus and asset to the district," said Reschke. "It gives us the opportunity to double check and triple check our safety procedures and protocols."

The districts put themselves to the test when Lake Orion hosted a simulation on food bourne illness during the spring.

The districts as well as police, fire and medical departments practiced their protocols - especially evaluating the situation and tending to the students' safety.

A concern from Trustee Cheryl McGinnis was what would happen if something happened during a football game, basketball game or another event with a mass amount of people.

Reschke said they have protocal for it and will have a simulation in Oxford about school invaders. As for exact details if the intruder would be armed or unarmed or if it would happen in the classroom, school assembly or during an event they are also unknown to get a better "real" response from everyone.

Another concern addressed is how would the district evacuate and control the situation. Classrooms have a flip-chart to help them if something does happen. The grant allowed for the charts to be updated.

"We wouldn't have been able to it without the grant," Reschke added.

Clarkston applied for the grant to continue to build readiness for any emergency situation that might occur.

"We are prepared," said Reschke.

Throughout the past year the grant has provided training to emergency response teams in each district on the National Incident Management System, used nation-wide by communit responders. The training also included threat assessment, diversity, legal issues, critical incident management and community response training.

Clarkston is the fiscal agent overseeing the use of the grant funds. Reschke serves as the project manager for the grant and will pass the role to Wes Goodman to oversee from October to January, when the grant is finished. Deputy Superintendent Shawn Ryan will be in chard of overall school safety response systems.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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