More than 400 Educators, First Responders, Mental Health and Homeland Security Leaders came to together for the annual Delaware County District Attorney’s Office Safe Schools Summit. Preparing for the region’s largest and longest running School Safety conference, we planned to include presentations and discussions on what had previously been only emerging biological threats. As it turned out, Ebola and Enterovirus D68, were major components of the forum.
All Hazards planning means preparing your school or organization for a wide range of threats. Biological threats like Meningitis and season flu can be expected, but the “fear factor” that Enterovirus D68 and Ebola add, make thinking through the “What if’s?” and “What’s next?” even more critical.
Working with the Presenters, I ask them to identify the problem, promote solutions, and challenge the Community Leaders to think about managing both Civil Order (response) and Civil Rights (Recovery) fairly.
Addressing Technological threats, we were very grateful to have Brad Spicer from Safe Plans attend and speak about a new Emergency Response software that will allow us to take paper plans to the web for easier editing, increased sharing and wide spread distribution. Our Delco School Safety NET program will begin the early phases of development this fall; with the goal of having response plans, resources and contact numbers in the hands of Teachers, Administrators and Responders in early 2015.
Human Threats are a reality and unfortunately, not as “rare” as people would hope. I presented on the recently released FBI Active Shooter study as a primer for a panel discussion entitled “When the sirens stop, “What’s next?”: Managing Post Event. Challenges to Safety, Communications, Culture and Recovery.”
My presentation featured experts in the field from Homeland Security, Law Enforcement Command, Detectives, Local & Federal Prosecutors, Public Information Officers and Mental Health Professionals discussing the role and responsibility of organizational leaders after the wave of First Responders have contained the scene.
As facilitator, I poised the questions from the perspective of a Principal, Superintendent or CEO who has arrived at the scene of a traumatic and violent incident and asked what they could expect to be tasked with to support an operation. How do Tactical Officers get real time access to your security systems and locked areas? How can Police Commanders obtain employee or student records? What is needed to support the investigation by way of access to key people and space to conduct interviews? How can you use the media to help communicate with families? What affect does suicide have on children who witness the incident? What are the immediate mental health needs? How can you “trust” those coming to help?
I have provided a link to the FBI Active Shooter study and my presentation. I ask you to review the study and discuss with your Team the strategic questions in my presentation. Invite your external response partners in as well and dialog with them, before an event, what you all would do.
If I can help facilitate the discussion, please let me know. The goal is to discuss both the “before and after” challenges and how “Your Team?” will react.