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School officer stresses importance of emergency planning

Clinton School Resource Officer Steve Bradley put together a forum last week to talk about emegency preparedness for schools.

Bradley noted that the community has been through many natural disasters recently, but said it is important to have a plan in place.

He said there are three parts to the planning: pre-crisis, crisis and post-crisis.

He said Clinton has completed a 20-page update on its crisis planning.

As far as a plan during the crisis he said responding swiftly and safely is imperative. Bradley said crisis planning includes a staging area, first aid teams, seach teams, rescue squads, and more, including involving the local utilities.

“It’s all a big puzle and it all works together,” he said. The community must start a dialogue and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Post-crisis planning includes topics such as acquiring the use of heavy machinery, counseling for children or anyone whomight need it, and getting back to normal as quickly as possible.

Bradley said he would like to have a few meeting this year to continue making plans. “We have to work together,” he said.

“This community has endured a lot of hardships,” Bradley said. “At the darkest hour, people are at their best.”

Friendship Baptist Church Pastor David Holcomb seconded Bradley’s statement about working together.

Holcomb is part of the Van Buren County Long Term Recovery Committee. The group has been working with some of the people whose homes were lost or damaged in the April 10 tornado. Holcomb address the audience after Bradley spoke last Wednesday at the Clinton School Auditorium

“We can get results when we all work together,” he said.

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