Emergency Evacuation for K-12 Schools

Emergencies usually happen in a matter of seconds. These circumstances can be especially devastating if they occur in a K-12 school. Power outages, natural disasters, fires, or school shootings are all situations that require immediate action. For this reason, a detailed emergency plan should be designed and practiced well in advance. This includes a reliable evacuation strategy, should the need arise. The Evacuation Slyde by DQE is a rescue sled that assists in the transport of non-ambulatory individuals in emergency situations, and is more affordable than other evacuation sleds on the market today.

Evacuating Disabled or Immobile Individuals

One overlooked intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act is equal exit during evacuations. [1] Every emergency plan should define specific protocols for moving injured, immobile, or disabled individuals. Performing this task safely will require reliable lifesaving equipment. Many schools use wheelchairs for this purpose. However, wheelchairs cannot be easily moved down stairs or through debris-filled hallways. In order to do so, operators must lift the chair. Equipment that requires lifting can cause injury to the person transporting the victim. When moving a disabled or immobile individual, it is important to keep everyone’s safety in mind, and not put yourself or others at greater risk of injury.

Slyde is designed to move effortlessly down stairs, across uneven surfaces, or over rough terrain. Using buckle restraints, the evacuee’s movements can be safely restricted. Slyde is lightweight, and can be easily maneuvered by strong web handles, which provide multi-point control for two to seven carriers.

No Evacuation Plan is Complete without Slyde

School administrators who incorporate Slyde into their emergency evacuation plan can rest assured they are prepared should the worst occur. Each sled can be assembled in a matter of seconds, and used according to straightforward instructions that are printed directly on every device.

Each Slyde can be folded and stacked, and placed in a protective sleeve for efficient storage. Most buildings simply store their Slydes in a centralized and accessible location, such as a hallways, elevators, or beside other lifesaving equipment. By doing so, they are easy to retrieve when immediate action is required.

Legal Action Regarding School Emergencies

In recent years, cases regarding disability justice have come to light.[2] The government is working to increase awareness about rescuing the disabled or immobile in emergency situations. However, some schools still fall short of defining adequate evacuation protocol for these individuals. There have been claims brought against educational institutions that failed to provide disabled evacuation. For instance, in 2014, a student in a wheelchair was left in a second-story classroom with no way to escape the building.[3] After facing allegations that they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act,[4] the school agreed to a settlement.

The Evacuation Slyde is an excellent solution to these issues. Investing in lifesaving devices such as rescue sleds help you take control of unfortunate situations that could jeopardize your school’s reputation.

Implement an Emergency Response Team

Unfortunately, many school officials adopt the idea that “the police are right around the corner”. Too often, they assume everything will be fine because “nothing bad will happen here”. This, of course, is not the case. If you wait until an emergency happens to develop a plan, it can result in a number of injuries, or in some cases, even death.

It is important to build a crisis response team. In school systems, this is typically comprised of teachers and staff members. Having a trained emergency team in place can ensure that effective action is implemented the moment an unfortunate event arises. We recommend beginning with these four primary roles[5]:

  • Point of Contact: This person should determine when an evacuation is required, and perform all necessary communication with emergency services.
  • Coordinator: Once an evacuation is in effect, the coordinator should secure the premises, and check all rooms for people left behind.
  • Head Counter: This person should be stationed outside to make sure all persons are accounted for.
  • First Aid and Medical Attention: Multiple members of the staff should be trained in basic first aid and evacuation procedures. The people on this team would be responsible for assembling and implementing use of Slyde for any immobile, non-ambulatory individuals.

Members of the emergency response team should undergo emergency training so they are well-prepared when the unforeseen happens. Additionally, frequent drills should be conducted so that protocols are second nature should a real emergency arise.

Find Out How the Evacuation Slyde Can Assist You in K-12 Emergencies

Slyde can give you peace of mind should an emergency situation occur. To learn more about our product, you can visit our online resource center.

[1] https://www.safetyinfo.com/emergency-ada-evacuation-disabled-free-index/

[2] https://www.yalelawjournal.org/note/the-right-to-be-rescued

[3] http://nj1015.com/wheelchair-bound-student-was-left-in-school-during-emergency-evacuation-us-attorney-says/

[4] https://www.ada.gov/cguide.htm – anchor62335

[5] https://safetymanagement.eku.edu/resources/articles/the-importance-of-having-an-evacuation-plan/