Blair works to develop emergency plans for lunch

Oct. 2, 2002, midnight | By Branden Buehler | 21 years, 2 months ago

As part of an ongoing attempt to develop emergency plans for lunch, the Blair Crisis Planning Team will meet to discuss a new proposal for fire drills in the middle of October.

The proposal was developed by senior Joshua Packman for a Magnet research project and consists of three ways of addressing fire drills during the lunch periods, including plans for sitting with first block teachers or fifth period teachers.

The Blair Crisis Planning Team consists of teachers, administrators, the security chief, the security coordinator for the cluster, the fire marshal, and a police officer. The team first received the proposal last week and will meet sometime in the second week of October, to "finalize the details," according to planning team member Mark Curran.

Once the team decides on an idea, it will test the plan with a fire drill during fifth period within the following weeks. During the drill, data will be collected and used to analyze the effectiveness of the drill.

According to Packman, a variety of data can be amassed from each drill. Photographs can be used to examine "instincts of movement" and various other tendencies of people getting away from the building. Packman also said data concerning the time it takes people to get away from the school building and the time it takes to turn in attendance can be studied.

Anne Alban, another planning team member, said that Blair's shift of focus to lunch situations is due to a high comfort level with in-class situations. "Our focus was working on swift evacuation plans for controlled situations," said Alban, who added that Blair is now "ready to move on to more complex situations."

Curran also said that a lunch evacuation "provides the greatest challenge." Curran said that the main difficulty with the lunch situation is that the main goal is "to account for everyone," even though the students are scattered around.

Edward Clarke, director of Montgomery County Public Schools' department of school safety and security, said Blair's attempts at developing plans for lunches fits in a county goal of developing plans for "special situations." While the county tries to encourage "better strategies to account for every student," it is up to each school to take charge of their situation, which Clarke said Blair is doing effectively.

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Branden Buehler. Branden Buehler is a senior in the magnet program. When he is not doing schoolwork, work for Silver Chips Online, or swimming for the Blair swim team, he could possibly be found playing foosball or playing his guitar and recording songs in a futile attempt … More »

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