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HomeNewsEmergency plans reviewed following unsubstantiated Grimshaw Public School threat

Emergency plans reviewed following unsubstantiated Grimshaw Public School threat

Grimshaw community partners, including the two school divisions, met with RCMP to discuss a Hold and secure situation last Friday. The after-action meeting had the administration of the Holy Family Catholic Regional Division (HFCRD), Peace River School Division (PRSD), personnel from the Town of Grimshaw, Grimshaw Municipal Library and Mile Zero Multiplex in attendance. A topic of discussion during the meeting was clarifying the difference between a lockdown, a hold and secure, and a shelter-in-place situation.

Holy Family Catholic Regional Division Superintendent Betty Turpin explains that in a school setting fire drills and lockdown drills are practiced because that is the language that school communities are familiar with. So this meeting was important to help the schools better understand and start the discussion on shelter-in-place and hold and secure situations.

“It is important for our community members to also understand what it is because we need to educate them on how they can help us when those situations are arising,” Turpin says.

A school lockdown occurs when there is thought to be a threat inside the school, the outside doors of the building and everyone inside will stay where they are and hide out of site. The only people allowed in or out of the building are emergency personnel. A shelter-in-place happens when something is happening in the community where the school, for example, there is a cougar in the playground, a gas leak, or a truck that is overturned with flammable liquid. In these cases, the doors are locked and nobody goes outside, and nobody comes inside. Finally a hold and secure is similar to a shelter in place, but it means that there is a possible threat outside, so students and staff are to stay in the school, the doors will be locked, but the activities inside the school can continue.

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Turpin says that working with the RCMP is imperative moving forward because it helps affirms the school division what they are doing with their emergency plans, and helps the RCMP know what the schools will be doing in an emergency.

Last Friday RCMP was called after Grimshaw Public School received an anonymous call about a protentional threat to the school. RCMP responded to the school and investigated the call, and determined there was no threat to the public at any point. RCMP opened a public mischief investigation. Turpin explains that while RCMP was investigating the original call it effected the entire complex.

“Our community library, our multiplex, our two schools were on hold and secure,” Turpin says.

She explains that having everyone come around the table and debrief how the situation unfolded for them, and learning from everyone’s experiences made it so that if a situation like this arises again, there is a plan in place for the entire complex.

 

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