Benefits of Effective School Crisis Planning

Central Elementary School
Stoneham, MA

Summary: The successful and quick response to a serious school emergency was possible due to the implementation of an established crisis plan created in conjunction with school administrators, teachers and staff, and all area emergency response teams.

Description: At school dismissal time on October 2, 2004, a vehicle leaving a parked position, accelerated and jumped the curb. The car crashed into a group of students and parents. It resulted in injuries to 11 people including adults and children; two children and one adult were seriously injured.

The initial response by school administrators, teachers and staff was prompt and effective. This was possible primarily due to an implemented school crisis plan that had been frequently reviewed with all staff. In the school crisis plan teachers were assigned specific tasks according to their individual skills and strengths and were familiar with emergency procedures. At the time of the accident, school personnel responded quickly and assumed their tasks. Procedures were followed.

All emergency personnel from town and surrounding areas responded within minutes. Each emergency response agency successfully employed its own crisis plan and was coordinated with the plan of the school. This familiarity of plans among the emergency response agencies and the school prevented any unnecessary delay in securing the school and evacuating the injured.

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