School Safety Workshop Trains Bemidji Community On How To Plan For School Emergencies
Bemidji Area Schools hosted a free training workshop today that focused on school safety and emergency operation plans for schools in the district. This is the first time that this type of workshop, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Education, has come to the state of Minnesota, and the city of Bemidji is happy to provide this opportunity.
School safety is one of the biggest concerns for a lot of people now more than ever before. In today’s workshop, participants raised several concerns as they pertain to the plan and action of evacuation, school security, fire drills in certain weather conditions, and more.
“The training on developing school-wide district emergency operation plans which are documents that will help us plan for, prevent and mitigate emergencies that might be either man-made or natural, and by having these plans it helps us fill in the gaps and be better prepared for anything any potential crisis that could happen,” said Tim Lutz, Bemidji Area Schools Superintendent.
After discussing various safety protocols in the district, administration, and community members and parents realized that there are more ways the Bemidji school district can do to plan and prevent emergency situations.
“Every person who’s here today to take away from the workshop the ideas that are crucial to filling out and preparing an emergency operations plan, in other words to have a better understanding of all the potential crisis or hazards that could come our way and how to understand the process of preventing, evaluating, mitigating and recovering and dealing with these situations, before, during, and after they occur,” said Lutz.
The presentation is provided by the Readiness and Emergency Management For Schools Technical Assistance Center, which is also known as REMS, and the U.S. Department of Education. The center travels from state to state to provide the community safe and supportive training in a case of an emergency.
“Having REMS come in and do best practices – they are from the U.S. Department of Education – by looking at what they have with their studies, their experts were able to take a huge topic and be able to streamline it down, which is what we want to make it as easy and smoothly as possible,” said Missy Dodds, School Safety Advocate and Parent Stakeholder.
The room was filled with various stakeholders as well as officials from school districts in the area.
“I am very grateful to the Bemidji school district and to Mr. Lutz for inviting them and hosting them and as a school safety advocate to have REMS the top of the line to come in and offer this training is amazing, amazing, and as a parent as three young kids, it makes me feel better,” said Dodds.
Over 60 people attended the training including various stakeholders, police, EMS and school officials.