El Paso ISD Trains Administrators First Responders for Emergency Response

El Paso Independent School District has completed emergency preparedness training with school administrators and local first responders with assistance from Prepared Response. The consultancy reviewed and updated the district's emergency operations plan and conducted on-site threat and vulnerability assessment training for staff to determine risks at each school in the district. In coordination with the district staff, training was also provided on mental health crisis team development and response, crisis plan development and maintenance, and conducting effective plan exercises. The consulting and training was performed over a six-month period and was funded through a Readiness Emergency Management in School grant from the federal government.

"With the recent swine flu outbreak impacting schools across Texas, the El Paso Independent School District was prepared with emergency plans on how to deal with the crisis," said Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia. "The safety of our students and staff is our main concern, and this training was timely for administrators when dealing with the outbreak."

"The El Paso Independent School District is very serious about preparing for any emergency that may impact schools in the district," said Jim Finnell, president and CEO of Prepared Response. "By including local police and fire agencies in the training, both district administrators and first responders are now more familiar with each other's role during a crisis."

Prepared Response received the work through an affiliation with Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, which won the job in an RFP process the district performed in late 2007.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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