Keeping Students Safe

From left, Ted Doughty, Jr., Jenny Salberg and Chris Duddy lead the district’s disaster planning.

A recent Laguna Beach brush fire provides proof that fire season has arrived.

In the event of various emergencies, including natural disasters such as fires and earthquakes, the school district has a plan that delineates steps for administrators to take. “All the schools have plans in place to address a wide range of events from fires and earthquakes to hazardous material spills and lockdowns,” said El Morro principal Chris Duddy, who chairs the district’s disaster preparedness committee. “We prepare as best as we can for whatever Mother Nature may throw at us and we have established a collaborative relationship with the fire and police departments who will support us in case of an emergency.”

Committee members Duddy, principal Jenny Salberg and facilities director Ted Doughty Jr. next month will attend an American Red Cross Academy training workshop on preparedness. Staff members have training in first aid and use of heart defibrillators.

The committee regularly reviews current protocols and best safety practices. Fire and evacuation drills are practiced throughout the year and the local fire department is invited to attend, observe and provide advice. Schools respond to Red Flag warnings with alerts and volunteers on fire watch.

Earlier in the month, Top of the World students practiced evacuation to Laguna Beach High School. On Oct. 18,  schools will be participating in California’s Great ShakeOut earthquake drill.

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