YAGOONA PUBLIC SCHOOL Policy for the Management of Critical Incidents

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1 * RATIONALE YAGOONA PUBLIC SCHOOL Policy for the Management of Critical Incidents Schools are susceptible to, and greatly influenced by, the events and happenings which take place in the community. As well, due to the numbers of students and other personnel in the Total School Community, there is the ever-present possibility of events happening that greatly influence the total population of the school. There is an obvious need to plan and prepare for the effects of a crisis before it happens, rather than try to respond, in an ad hoc way, after the event. If a crisis occurs, we have a responsibility to respond with a considered management plan, which aims to assist all those affected. A Crisis Management Plan should: 1. Identify levels of possible crisis and 2. Outline steps in the management of various levels of the crisis. The Yagoona Public School Crisis Management Plan has been developed in preparation for an unforseen crisis. While it is hoped that such a crisis never occurs, the strategy outlined in this document should assist in minimising the negative impact of such an event. * DEFINITIONS; An Incident: Is an event where the capacity to respond can be met from within the confines of the immediate area. It can generally be dealt with from local resources with minimal outside response eg. * Staff trauma * Student trauma * Bomb threat * Break in * Major vandalism A Critical Incident: A critical incident is any situation, which causes unusually strong emotional reactions that have the potential to interfere with the ability to function either at the time or later. It will impact across a large group, a class or grade eg. * Fire * Bus crash * Shooting/Stabbing * Explosion * Car Accident * Death A Disaster: Is when events that occur within the community impact on the school or educational unit and require multiple agency response eg. * Flood * Earthquake * Major fire * Chemical spills NB An incident can develop through a crisis, into a disaster. Yagoona Public School Managing Critical Incidents Policy 2009 Page 1

2 * RESPONSE TO AN INCIDENT IMMEDIATE RESPONSE: 1. Gain accurate information - Principal 2. Evaluate and assess the situation - Principal 3. Contact necessary services 4. Dissemination of information to: School Education Director Principal Staff (See Appendix 1) 5. Contact parents or families when and if appropriate Principal or police. 6. Set up a recovery room in the school 7. Identify "at risk" students and staff. 8. Convene brief meeting of School Executive to discuss intervention plan and to provide security for buildings equipment. 9. Liaise with media Principal or one of the Executive if the principal is not available. SHORT TERM RESPONSE: 1. Next working day 8.30 am Staff meeting to: * Present information. * Discuss action plan. * Allow staff response. * Decide how information will be presented to the children. 2. Support and care for Disaster Affected Persons (DAPS) - Outside Agencies 3. Inform students of: * Facts of the incident * School action * Counselling services 4. Allow student discussion or time to respond. 5. Inform all parents by letter of: * The facts of the critical incident. * The school actions. * Possible reactions of children * Sources of help for families. * Ways the school can be contacted. 6. Continue to monitor well being of the students and staff. For other suggestions see Appendix 2, Recovery Timeline. NB This is not a lock-step process; professional judgement should be used for each incident. Yagoona Public School Managing Critical Incidents Policy 2009 Page 2

3 * PEOPLE WHO MAY BE AFFECTED BY CRITICAL INCIDENTS Those involved in a critical incident will play various roles and encounter different experiences. A useful guide for identifying those who are most likely to need assistance follows: People directly exposed to incidents Those who suffer intense trauma, including injuries, eg. students, staff Relatives and Friends Those who are grieving for the injured and affected, eg. families, students, staff People with Previous Trauma and Grief Those who are not directly affected by the incident but who may be affected because of a previous incident. Helpers or Recovery Personnel Recovery personnel who are required to maintain functional efficiency during the incident and to cope with the psychological effects, eg. Staff; school counsellors, administrators and emergency personnel. Community and People Indirectly Involved Those in the community affected but not directly involved, eg. Other parents; staff and students from neighbouring schools; those who could have been direct victims but were not because of circumstances; those for whom stress is triggered as a result of the incident. Yagoona Public School Evacuation Plan Copies of the school's evacuation plan will be displayed in each room. In the case of a bomb threat the person who received the call will complete a Bomb Threat Report (Appendix 3). Evacuation Plan 1. The evacuation alarm and siren will sound continuously. 2. Students will immediately cease work and, if practical, turn off adjacent electrical points. 3. The class roll must be taken with you and if possible the teacher should close windows and doors to eliminate draughts and confine any fire. 4. Classes should be moved quickly and in an orderly manner from classrooms by the nearest passable exit, keeping to one side, to the appointed class position on Lower Grass (See map in room). 5. During any emergency evacuation the children move out of the classroom and do not stop to collect any belongings. 6. The School Administration Manager, if on duty, will contact emergency services, and will then evacuate the office, bringing first-aid kit, all OASIS backups, visitors book and copies of class lists to the evacuation area. An evacuation file with these documents will be maintained in the office to enhance speedy evacuation. [If the SAM is not present, these duties will fall to the SAO responsible for office management at the time. 7. Should the evacuation area in proximity to the Lower Grass be deemed unsafe, evacuees will proceed to O Neill Park in Cooper Rd. After Evacuation 7. Mark appropriate class rolls. Report absentees and their last known location to your supervisor. 8. School personnel will not be permitted to return to rooms until the Principal is satisfied it is safe to do so. Yagoona Public School Managing Critical Incidents Policy 2009 Page 3

4 * EMERGENCY SERVICES DIAL AND ASK OPERATOR TO CONNECT TO POLICE, AMBULANCE AND/OR FIRE BRIGADE Local Police: Local Fire Brigade: Local Hospitals Medical Centre (opposite main gate) Utility Suppliers: Children s Hospital Westmead Bankstown Bankstown Bankstown Electricity Gas or Water School Response Unit Bankstown District Office Child Protection Investigation Directorate Staff Efficiency and Conduct Unit Bankstown Community Health Centre Poisons Information Service or Child Protection and Family Crisis Centre State Emergency Service DOCS Sexual Assault Victim s Help Centre Telephone Interpreter * Evaluation of Management Plan After a critical incident, a meeting of staff, students and local Community representatives will be held to evaluate the effectiveness of the management plan and to make necessary modifications Yagoona Public School Managing Critical Incidents Policy 2009 Page 4

5 APPENDIX 1 For all incidents involving: - violence, weapons, illegal drugs or major criminal activity contact 000 and Safety and Security hotline In these circumstances Principals do not need to complete this form Serious Incident Report School Name:Yagoona Public School School Code: 3869 School Phone: Principal Linda Wickham School Group - Bankstown SED - Rod Leonarder / Date of Incident - Time of Incident - Key Issue: The key issue indicates the impact on the system which may be different from the subject matter of the incident. Enter a brief description of the incident Describe action taken Yagoona Public School Managing Critical Incidents Policy 2009 Page 5

6 APPENDIX 2 RECOVERY TIMELINE. The successful management of critical incidents depends on the school taking appropriate action and providing support during and after a critical incident. The recovery timeline following a critical incident will vary depending on the circumstances and the school should consider this guideline when developing its critical incident's management plan. Within 24 hours Gather the facts; Ensure safety and welfare of staff and students and arrange for first-aid if necessary; Where possible notify the time and place of the debriefing to all relevant persons; Manage the media; Set up a recovery room; Keep staff, students and parents informed. Utilise translators/community Language teachers to make clarify issues. Within hours Arrange counselling as needed; Provide opportunities for staff and students to talk about the incident; Provide support to staff and helpers; Debrief all relevant persons; Restore normal functioning and service delivery as soon as possible; Keep parents informed. Within the first month Arrange a memorial service, if appropriate; Encourage parents to participate in meeting to discuss students' welfare; Identify behavioural changes and the possibility of post traumatic stress disorder and refer to Health Contacts for Mental Health Services; Monitor progress of hospitalised staff or students; Monitor mental and physical health of all helpers. In the Longer Term Monitor staff and students for signs of delayed Stress and the onset of post traumatic stress disorder - refer for specialised treatment; Provide support if needed; Consider including grief as a topic in the personal development, health and physical education, key-learning area. Identify key personnel outside agencies, HSLO, interpreters, Community Health personnel etc In the Long Term (more than 12 months) Plan for and be sensitive to the disturbing influences of anniversaries, inquests and legal proceedings; Access specialist support if needed. Yagoona Public School Managing Critical Incidents Policy 2009 Page 6

7 APPENDIX 3 DEPARTMENT OF SCHOOL EDUCATION BOMB THREAT REPORT (To be completed by the person who received the call and submitted to the principal/police). TIME OF CALL: DATE: OPERATOR'S NAME: QUESTIONS TO ASK CALLER: EXACT WORDING OF THREAT WHERE IS IT? WHAT TIME WILL IT EXPLODE? WHAT TYPE OF DEVICE? WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? WHAT IS YOUR NAME? ANALYSIS (INDICATE WITH X) TYPE OF CALL VOICE ACCENT BACKGROUND NOISE LOCAL MALE LOCAL RADIO/TV STD FEMALE BRITISH TRAIN TRUNK CHILD EUROPEAN AIRCRAFT OVERSEAS ANGRY AMERICAN CHILDREN GIGGLING OTHER TRAFFIC STAMMER CONSTRUCTION CALM OTHER OTHER DID THE CALLER APPEAR FAMILIAR WITH THE BUILDING? Yes No Yagoona Public School Managing Critical Incidents Policy 2009 Page 7

8 APPENDIX 4 EXAMPLE - FIRE In the event of an emergency: Emergency Procedures 1.Assist anybody in immediate danger. 2.Raise The Alarm -- Notify the office and ensure that emergency services have been contacted. 3.Restrict the danger area. When instructed to do so: 4.Evacuate to the nominated assembly area remaining clear of the danger area and taking class rolls if at all possible. 5.Remain at the assembly area. Account for and supervise all students. 6.Fight the fire only if safe to do so and if trained to use available equipment. Yagoona Public School Managing Critical Incidents Policy 2009 Page 8

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