POLICY MANUAL

Emergency Drills - Policy R6-9

A. Fire
1. Inform new teachers of fire drill procedures. It is suggested that one or more exits be blocked off at times during the fire drills. State law requires each school to have one (1) fire drill a week for the first 20 days of school and one (1) a month thereafter. These drills should be timed and a record kept. A report of these drills will be requested periodically during the school year.

2. Teachers should know the location of fire extinguishers and how to operate them. The Fire Department will provide training and pupils are NEVER allowed to operate fire extinguishers in case of fire. The location of fire alarms and how to operate them should be known by all teachers.

a. A Fire Extinguisher Report is due in office of the assistant superintendent for operations by the fifth of each month--September through June. Additional forms are available from the Department of Facilities.

b. The Local Fire Department will furnish materials during National Fire Prevention Week. They will hold a fire drill in each school during this week.

3. The Junior Fire Marshal Program will be used in Grades 3, 4, and 5.

4. See that instruction is provided for patrol persons. The AAA has a handbook available with suggestions. Safety patrol locations, duties and responsibilities should be clearly understood by teachers and pupils.

B. Bomb Threats
1. Should your school receive a bomb threat call, instruct those who normally answer the telephone to record the exact statement made by the caller. For example:

"There is a time bomb in the building..."
"There is a bomb set in the building..."
“There is a bomb planted in the building..."
"I have placed a bomb..."

2. Call the police Emergency Number.

The terminology and expressions and whether male or female are of definite significance, as are any other clues you can obtain. It is important to know the locale of the bomb, whether it is in the building or outside. E very precaution must be taken to safeguard the lives of the pupils.

3. Call the superintendent and assistant superintendent for operations to report the threat.

4. Use a coded message or the fire alarm system to alert teachers of an emergency drill. They will instruct their students to evacuate the building quietly out of designated exits.

5. The police department will dispatch the nearest member of the Field Operations Bureau, a backup unit, and a supervisor to the scene of the bomb threat reporting to the principal or his designee. Any decision made to search or evacuate the building is to be made by the principal or his designee. The police are there to assist in any reasonable manner. Due to a lack of familiarity with the building, the police will not assume responsibility for the complete search of the building or grounds. Principals must organize his or her staff to work with the police in searching the building.

6. The place most likely to conceal a bomb inside the school building is in an area to which pupils have easiest access. (Lockers, halls, foyers, toilets, etc.) Therefore, an evacuation that requires pupils to move through or near these areas might increase the risk of injury during any detonation. As a general rule, the easiest area in which to plant a bomb is in the shrubbery outside the building or in a parking lot.

7. Students should return to the building when the principal or his designee consider the building or area to be safe. Verbal directives for reentry should be given by the principal or designee. Do not reenter building on a bell signal.

C. Bus
School Bus Emergency Evacuation Drills will be held twice each year as scheduled by the superintendent.

Procedures to be followed should be explained to the pupils prior to the time at which the drill will be held. Teachers could help with this as they do with fire drills. The principal or designated teachers must be present at each drill.

The drills will be conducted on school grounds. Buses serving your school will be used to expedite time. The drills should not be held on the streets. Since all children will probably ride the school bus during the year through field trips and daily transportation, all children should participate in the emergency drill.

The following procedures should be followed for emergency drills on school buses:

1. The bus or buses should be driven to a predetermined location, stopped, engine turned off and brakes set. Transmission should be in reverse gear.

2. Middle school and elementary school pupils will be brought to the buses by teachers or the person designated by the principal. High school students will drill upon arrival at school. Pupils will enter the bus by the entrance door and be seated. After all pupils are seated, the driver will announce the drill.

3. The driver should remain in the bus directing and assisting until the bus has been evacuated.

4. Pupils will leave the bus through the entrance and emergency doors.

5. Those pupils seated in the front of the rear wheel housing will leave by the entrance door, and from that point back pupils will leave by the emergency door.

6. A safety patrolman or an older pupil should be stationed outside the emergency door to assist the pupils leaving by this door. He will close the emergency door after the last pupil is out of the bus.

7. Personal belongings will be left in the bus but not where they will interfere with others leaving the bus.

8. Pupils will go to a pre-selected spot to the right of the bus after evacuation.

9. The driver will be the last person to leave the bus. He will get out and see that everything has gone according to plan. He will then reenter the bus, take his seat and receive the next group of students.

10. Speed, though desirable, is not the only goal to be attained. Training pupils to follow orderly movement for safe evacuation is the most important objective.

Legal Reference

Code of Va.,22.1-137 Fire drills. In every public school there shall be a fire drill at least once every week during the first twenty school days of each school session, and more often if necessary, in order that pupils may be thoroughly practiced in such drills. During the remainder of the school session fire drills shall be held at least monthly.

Approved by Superintendent: April 23, 1980
Revised by Superintendent: August 10, 1998

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