YANKEE LAKE, Ohio (WKBN) – The Brookfield School District spent Wednesday morning practicing its evacuation plan with a massive emergency drill.
After months of planning, school staff says the evacuation and reunification drill was a success, but there are some things they want to tweak for next time.
Getting all 1,100 students out the door and onto buses took just 45 minutes, but it wasn’t as orderly and efficient as it should have been, according to Superintendent Velina Jo Taylor.
“We’ll look at finding a way to make sure that we have our buses completely full so that we don’t have kids waiting any longer than they have to,” Taylor said. “We’re learning that no matter how hard you plan, there are things you don’t think about, but they are only little things. It’s worked out incredibly well thanks to the team that put this together, but it’s just making sure that everybody has been communicated with and everybody knows what their roles are.”
The drill involved getting students out of the building and to a safe location, where they got onto buses that took them to a reunification spot for parent pick-up.
The district even included parents in the drill so they would understand the process and be reassured that their kids will be kept safe.
“We all have to learn where to go, what to do and who to look for our instructions and information. We’re gonna need to stay safe,” said Kayla Haywood, a Brookfield student.
Teacher Joe Meyer was grateful for the preparation.
“We need to be ready at a moment’s notice, and making sure that our kids are safe and accounted for,” he said.
Even though it was just a drill, police said they also benefited from the practice.
“This is something that…every school and every community should be doing on maybe an annual basis just to help…increase efficiency of the plans that you have,” Chief Daniel Faustino said.
Everyone who participated in the drill Wednesday recognized the importance of it, saying it’s always good to be prepared in case something happens.