Cairo Association of Teachers - Newsletter

CAT Tracks for April 11, 2007

From the WSIL TV Channel 3 website...

Emergency Response Plan for Southern Illinois Schools

By: Jackie McPherson


It's a first of its kind state plan. Officials say it will cut down on response time to emergencies in southern Illinois schools, by providing law enforcers with access to school floorplans.

If an emergency should occur at any of the 46 schools in Alexander, Massac, Johnson, Pulaski, or Union counties, law enforcers will now be better prepared. They'll know exactly where to go and how to respond.

"They will be able to cut off gas hook-ups, and shut down power" says Regional Superintendent Janet Ulrich.

That's because police in this area now have access to school floorplans-- able to download them onto a computer in a moment's notice.

"Response time will be minimized" says Illinois State Police Trooper Bridget Rice. "Everything is going to be more organized. We can put our resources in areas where we need the resources to be."

Eventually state police will be able to pull up the floorplans in their squad cars as well.

Before this program, law enforcement officials had to track down paper blueprints either from the regional superintendent's office or at schools.

We see this as an improvement- a growth with technology" says Ulrich.

Ulrich adds it didn't take much funding to get the emergency response program up and running, just co-operation from schools, state police and local architects.

It's a progressive program to keep children safe at school.

"We're the first regional office in the state to do this. We're considered a pilot site to start this and get it going through-out the state" says Ulrich.