The staff of SHED Children’s Campus participate in trainings regularly throughout the year. EEC – our licensing agency – requires each staff to complete 20 hours of training each year. Our staff often reach 30 or more hours per year. Just recently, we participated in an ALICE training with the Andover Police Department as one of the first steps to ensure we are using best practices when it comes to safety.
The ALICE training got us talking, thinking & problem solving – what are the best ways to make sure the children and staff are protected in case of emergency?
We regularly practice fire drills. All children know what to do in case of fire. Not all children are sure of what to do in case of an intruder. With this in mind, we know that we also need to practice evacuation & safety drills so that we are prepared if we are ever faced with an intruder or a dangerous event in town. We need to practice these drills so that we and the children are “ready” if the unthinkable were ever to happen.
I think we can all agree that it is a scary topic & one that is hard to even comprehend. However, we need to talk about it and train for it because knowledge & practice can help us get through an emergency. We can’t ignore this topic – we need to talk & prepare.
Our next steps, here, are to practice these types of drills with the children. We need the children to be ready in case of an emergency. They need to know what to do so they can react safely if they need to. These drills will help it become muscle memory for the children – so they will just react the way they have practiced. This does not mean scaring them with real life scenarios or videos. It simply means teaching them what to do if there ever was a danger in the building. How do they get out safely? Where do they go? What happens if they are in the bathroom when this happens? Where should they meet up? How can they protect themselves?
It is a process & a learning that we will keep working on. There is no right answer – there is only practice & thinking.We want the best for everyone here & we will do our best to ensure safety and to pass along life skills to be used in all aspects of life.