Emergency Preparedness Plan Shared Nationally
Northbrook School District 27’s comprehensive emergency preparedness program was presented to a national audience on April 8th.
Representatives from District 27 and the Northbrook Police Department presented a session on the Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP) at the National School Boards Association’s annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. Presenters included Kimberly Arakelian, District 27’s Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations; Doug Heurich, Director of Facilities; Helen Melinck, District 27 Board of Education President; and Northbrook Police Chief Roger Adkins.
More than 200 conference participants attended the EPP presentation, Arakelian said, including school board members, school officials and first responders from Rhode Island to Louisiana.
“We were thrilled to be able to share our plan with others school districts around the country,” she said. “We were able to give the attendees the tools they needed to go back to theirs schools and immediately implement safety and security improvements.”
District 27’s plan is robust, and outlines procedures, such as off-site reunification, for a variety of emergencies. A key component of the EPP is an options-based approach to active intruders. All members of the District 27 staff were trained earlier this year on options they have if active intruders are in their schools.
The EPP is now being implemented across Northfield Township. Participants include township school districts, private schools, houses of worship, as well as Northbrook and Glenview park districts. The program also has the support of both the Northbrook and Glenview police and fire departments. Earlier this year, representatives from these township organizations met to participate in active intruder training drills.
"One of the key benefits of coordinating a township-wide emergency response plan, is that all agencies will utilize the same standard response protocols in the event of an emergency,” Adkins said. “This allows children, no matter where they are in the township (school, library, park district, etc.) to know what to do in the event of an emergency. Police and fire departments can also expect the same procedures to be followed throughout the township, thus allowing their work to be more efficient and effective."
Arakelian said the conference was an ideal way for the EPP message to be delivered across the country.
“The EPP’s motto is Educate, Plan and Practice,” Arakelian said. “There is no substitute for emergency preparedness as safety is our top priority.”
Northbrook Police Chief Roger Adkins
District 27 Board President Helen Melnick