Belchertown superintendent presents new school emergency plan - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Belchertown superintendent presents new school emergency plan

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BELCHERTOWN, MA (WSHM) -

Superintendent of Belchertown Public Schools Judith Houle stood before the school committee Tuesday night to present her new emergency operations plan.

"It allows us to be prepared for a variety of emergencies should they happen," said Houle.  

She explained the plan highlights high-priority hazards in eight different categories, covering any crisis that should take place in the five schools located in town.

"Everything is mentioned from medical emergencies to fire, hazmat and natural disasters," said Houle. 

The 87-page report was created by a 50-member safety team that was made up of representatives from across the community.

"We involved administrators, teachers, parents, the town manager, police and fire chiefs, DPW and town commuting department," said Houle. 

It also includes input from the FBI and FEMA.

"We put together people with a variety of perspectives and expertise to be able to help us," said Houle.  

The district always had an emergency plan in place, but Houle felt it was out-dated and needed to be adjusted to fit a protocol for emergencies that occur in schools today.

"In the wake of Sandy Hook. we really felt is was time to take a full effort to put together a full emergency operations plan," said Houle.

Bringing that plan into modern day included turning to social media outlets like Twitter.

"It's a way in which we can push out info and keep people informed of where we're at," said Houle.  

It's something Houle said is all in an effort to keep students safe.

"We're going to drill on these things too, so that they become routine, so we know what we need to do to respond to the risks around us," said Houle.

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