Safety Training at Deer Park’s Administrative Retreat

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During the Deer Park School District’s Administrative Council Retreat in August, district administrators participated in a special training program focusing on the Incident Command System, intended to bolster districtwide security procedures and help ensure the continued safety of the district’s students and staff.

Presenting were two deputy chief instructors from the Suffolk County Fire Academy – Jack Blaum, a retired Suffolk County police detective and former chief of the North Patchogue Fire Department who serves as Suffolk’s deputy fire coordinator; and New York City Fire Department Battalion Chief Tom Richardson, the former chief of the Deer Park Fire Department.

The course, titled “Introduction to the Incident Command System for Schools,” was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and was designed specifically for school district personnel, to familiarize them with how ICS principles can be applied in school-based incidents or emergencies. The program prepares school officials for how they would interface with community emergency response personnel from any agencies that might be called to respond.

During the detailed program, 27 of Deer Park’s administrators – including Superintendent Eva J. Demyen and her staff, school principals, and assistant principals – were introduced to the organizational principles and elements of ICS, the various positions or roles that they may be called upon to fill, and their responsibilities in the event of an emergency.

“By completing this introductory course in ICS, the administrators can now evaluate their specific school facilities and personnel and start to plan on how they can use ICS in the future,” said Richardson, “either for an emergency situation or even for a planned event such as the homecoming parade or a graduation ceremony. The overall course goal is to promote school safety by having an organized approach to managing an incident or event.”

“I was very happy to see the administrators so engaged, from the superintendent on down,” added Richardson, who has been involved in teaching the federal ICS program for many years. “They asked great questions and we gave them suggestions for future training on handling emergencies.”