Gobles Schools’ emergency preparedness drill includes students

By: 
Paul Garrod - news4garrod@vineyardpress.biz
	Gobles Public Schools held an off-site evacuation drill for all grade levels, involving the district’s 790 students. Taking part in the day’s training were Gobles Public Schools First Responders, Gobles Public Schools staff and students, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, the Van Buren County Office of Domestic Preparedness, the Gobles Pine Grove Fire Department, Life EMS, and the American Red Cross. 	Courier-Leader photo/Paul Garrod

    GOBLES - On Wednesday morning, May 15, Gobles Public Schools held an off-site evacuation drill for all grade levels, involving the district’s 790 students.
    With the support of the Gobles Public Schools Board of Education and the City of Gobles, Gobles Public Schools First Responders had multiple local agencies respond to Gobles Public Schools for a simulated evacuation of all students and staff from the district and  schools to an off-site location - the  Gobles Pine Grove Fire Department.
    Gobles Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Reh-lander said of the drill, “We are proud that our school district is safe and we are doing everything possible to keep it that way. Our first priority is to protect the  students, staff and guests from harm here at Gobles Public Schools. As such, we practice over 10 safety drills a year that include fire drills, tornado drills, and lockdowns.”
    Rehlander said, “The goal of these training drills is to improve our ability to protect students, staff, and guests, save lives, and reduce injuries. They allow us to evaluate our emergency operation plans and to improve our response skills.”
    He added, “The students performed exceptionally well during, what could be, a high stress event for them. We commend the parents for teaching them to be respectful, active listeners who follow directions.”
    Gobles Public Schools Chief Safety Officer Gary Brown said of the drill, “We want each student to be aware of the importance of safety drills and not be afraid when a drill is conducted. Difficulties can arise as a result of mixing different variables  into each  situation. Communication is key when working with a response team comprised of multiple agencies.”
    Brown said the joint training allowed partners to be unified with a common goal in mind; to effectively coordinate and oversee the tasks that needed to be accomplished while keeping the students and staff safe.
    Taking part in the day’s training were: Gobles Public Schools First Responders, Gobles Public Schools staff and students, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, the Van Buren County Office  of Domestic Preparedness, the Gobles Pine Grove Fire Department, Life EMS, and the American Red Cross.
  

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