The Emergency Action Plan is designed to help the St Cloud School District comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Means of Egress standard (29 CFR 1910.35-1910.40), as well as the State Fire Marshal’s Uniform Fire Code 1303.4 Emergency Plans for Smoke Fire or Hazardous Materials Incident.
This Plan outlines procedures for the evacuation and protection of building occupants during an emergency situation. The standard does not include exits from vessels, vehicles or other mobile structures. A reference compliance checklist can be found in Appendix A.
This Plan is intended to be non-site-specific and will need to be modified to adapt to specific conditions at each site or school district. In addition, St Cloud School District is responsible for the implementation, enforcement and updating of its Emergency Action Plan. The Plan will be reviewed and updated annually or as changes to the facilities occur. Actual use of this Plan is limited to Resource Training & Solutions and the Central MN School District which it represents.
Note: This Plan does not include a Fire Prevention Plan as referenced in OSHA’s Means of Egress standard (29 CFR 1910.38). Each school district should have a site-specific Fire Prevention Plan in place. In addition, this Plan does not address building design/code requirements and egress capacity and width criteria as referenced in OSHA’s Means of Egress standard (29 CFR 1910.37). St Cloud School District should address these design criteria relative to any new construction or renovation activities.
In addition, St Cloud School District should consider adopting policies to address the questions and concerns of parents, the community and media personnel after an emergency situation occurs.
Emergency Action Management Plan Update Report
Program review and changes are documented below. Documented reviews indicate that the plan continues to meet the needs of the District, or has been modified to do so more effectively.
Uploaded MN DPS updated school fire, tornado and lockdown drill instruction & record
D. Evacuation Procedures:
F. Fire Drills
App. G: 2014 Delayed and Staged Evacuation Strategies for Schools
App. J: 2014 MSBA 806 model crisis management policy
Emergencies include fire, bomb threat, civil disturbance, severe weather, medical (accidents, injuries), chemical spills, elevator shut down and facility-related (such as – gas leak, water leak).
Emergency Escape Route means the route building occupants are directed to follow during an emergency evacuation.
High Hazard Contents include any building materials or other substances which will burn rapidly, explode or produce fumes in the event of a fire.
Means of Egress is a continuous, unobstructed exit or pathway from the facility to the outside or public way. The exit includes the exit access and exit discharge areas.
The following are general procedures which apply to all Central MN School Districts facilities relative to means of egress or emergency exits.
B. Staff Responsibilities
Emergency Coordinator Responsibilities
The Central MN School District shall designate an Emergency Coordinator, preferably one individual for each building, who will serve as the primary contact. The Emergency Coordinator should be fully knowledgeable on the facility and its operations. In addition, the Emergency Coordinator should hold an authoritative position and be readily available (such as – a principal or buildings and ground coordinator).
The Central MN School District will post emergency contact numbers in readily available locations throughout each facility. Contact names and phone numbers should also be listed for any after hours emergencies. A reference Emergency Contacts list is available in Appendix C of this Plan.
In the case of a fire emergency, it is the responsibility of the school building administrator or superintendent to report the incident, even if it is a false alarm, to the local fire department. This is required by Minnesota Statutes 299F.452.
In the case of a fire emergency, it is the responsibility of the school building administrator or superintendent to report the incident, even if it is a false alarm to:
C. Alarm System
An audible alarm or voice (phone) system should be available to all occupied facilities for evacuating purposes. The system should be capable of alarming individuals in all parts of the building. In case of power failure, a back-up power source, alarm system or portable system should be available.
It is imperative that all building occupants are aware of the alarm as a signal to evacuate the building. All alarms should be treated as a “real” emergency.
St Cloud School District should periodically test the alarm system in accordance with local fire department requirements. In addition, each facility should conduct both announced and unannounced fire drills to evaluate the effectiveness of the system and the evacuation procedures in place.
St Cloud School District will establish notification procedures to accommodate any deaf building occupants.
D. Evacuation Procedures
A detailed floor plan and description of each area will be available and posted in designated locations for each respective building. See sample Fire Safety & Emergency Evacuation Plan in appendix H. This floor plan (map) should include, as a minimum, the following:
When an emergency situation such as a fire or chemical spill develops within the facility, a St Cloud School District employee in the immediate area of concern should immediately contact the building’s emergency coordinator (contact). The situation is then assessed for the appropriate level of response and whether the alarm system is triggered to evacuate the building. For example, in case of a small fire, a trained school district employee or other designated individual may put out the fire with a fire extinguisher and thereby avoid evacuating the entire facility. Likewise, a chemical spill may be cleaned up without having to call in a response team (refer to your school district’s Hazardous Waste Management and Employee Right-to-Know Plans).
The following are general procedures to be implemented for all emergency situations.
Note: St Cloud School District shall designate certain employees to be responsible to assist any handicapped individuals during emergency evacuations.
The following are standard procedures to be implemented for specific types of emergencies.
Schools are required to do one severe weather drill during the school year. During a tornado watch, where weather conditions in the area are such that a tornado could develop, the emergency coordinator should track the status of the watch. In the case of a tornado warning, a tornado has been actually spotted and potential danger to life and property exists. Defense sirens in the area will sound an alert when the National Weather Service gives a tornado warning.
Tornado Drill: The school must conduct at least one tornado drill annually.
The following are standard procedures to follow during a tornado warning (tornado moving in direction of facility).
The individual receiving the bomb threat call should try to solicit as much information from the caller as possible, including:
See Appendix L for a sample guide for handling bomb threat calls, provided by the Minnesota School Safety Center.
After receiving a bomb threat, immediately notify emergency coordinator, who will then notify the police or take other appropriate measures.
Occupants trapped inside an elevator shall follow procedures outlined below:
Note: In general, use of elevators during any emergency should be avoided given the potential for power failure. In most buildings, the elevator automatically returns to the first floor when a fire alarm is activated.
A school fire safety check list is in appendix I or the following general procedures should be followed at the time of a fire emergency. These procedures should be incorporated into the specific plan for each school building:
Lockdown procedures are used to protect building occupants from potential dangers in the building (e.g. threats, intruders) or external threats that may enter the building.
Lockdown with Warning occurs when there is a threat outside the building or there are nonthreatening circumstances that people need to be kept away from (e.g. medical emergency or disturbance). Lockdown with Intruder occurs when there is a threat or intruder inside the building.
When implementing Lockdown with Warning procedures:
• Announce “lockdown with warning”
• Repeat announcement several times
• Be direct. DO NOT USE CODES
• Bring people inside
• Lock exterior doors
• Control all movement
• Disable all bells
• Direct any movement by announcement only
• Announce “all clear” signal when the threat has ceased
• Lock all exterior doors
• Cover exterior windows*
• Keep students away from windows
• Continue classes. Move on announcement only
• Wait for further instructions
* Check with local law enforcement agencies regarding the covering of windows and doors.
When implementing Lockdown with Intruder procedures:
(these actions happen rapidly)
• Announce “lockdown with intruder”
• Repeat announcement several times.
• Be direct. DO NOT USE CODES
• Call 911 and notify law enforcement
• Direct all students, staff and visitors to the nearest classroom or secured space
• Classes outside the building SHOULD NOT enter the building
• Move outside classes to primary evacuation site
• DO NOT lock exterior doors
• Announce “all clear” signal when threat has ceased as authorized by law enforcement
• Clear all students, staff and visitors from hallways immediately
• Report to nearest classroom
• Assist those with special needs accommodations
• Close and lock all windows and doors
• DO NOT LEAVE for any reason
• DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR for any reason
• If a fire alarm has been activated, do not evacuate unless fire or smoke is visible
• Shut off lights
• Stay away from all doors and windows
• Be quiet
• Wait for further instructions
E. Fire Protection Equipment
Depending on the size, occupancy and use of each building, some forms or combination of fire protection equipment should be present. These may include smoke detectors, fire hoses, sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers or fire doors. The Central MN School District shall ensure that all fire protection equipment is in proper and continuous operating condition, is regularly tested and inspected. In addition, the Central MN School District shall verify all systems meet local and state building code requirements. An inspection and testing program for fire protection equipment is in appendix M.
F. Fire Drills
Fire drills should be conducted at varying times and in varying conditions simulating various emergencies, conditions and combinations at least five times during the school year (ideally, a minimum of 5 per school and one within the first ten days of the start of school and two drills should be conducted by the Thanksgiving break). All District staff shall participate in the drills. Summer school will require two additional drills.
See Appendix E for The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s “School Fire Drill Instructions and Record.”
Records will be maintained on the building premises for review by the local fire department and shall include:
G. Medical Assistance
St Cloud School District should designate individuals to serve as first responders at the scene of an accident or injury. Their role is to provide aid to the victim until medical help arrives. This may be the nurse (if one is on site) or any other individual(s) trained in standard first air and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
St Cloud School District should coordinate emergency service with a local medical provider should any emergency situation arise. In addition, medical consultation and advice should be available from the selected medical provider.
Each facility should have a minimum of one fully stocked first aid kit where a nurse’s station is not available. A spill kit should also be available in each facility where hazardous chemicals are used or stored. This spill kit typically will consist of the following:
Note: Only trained spill response team members should address chemical spills.
H. Visitor Control
St Cloud School District will establish a system (if not already in place) to track all outside visitors in the building. Typically, this consists of a sign-in sheet with the person’s name, time of arrival, time of departure and who the person is contacting.
In cases where an outside visitor is in the building for a short time, the school employee being visited should be responsible for assisting the visitor during an emergency evacuation. In cases where an outside contractor will be in the facility for a longer period of tie or a visitor frequents the building on a regular basis, St Cloud School District should ensure that these individuals are familiar with the facility’s floor plan and emergency exit routes posted.
In addition, during an emergency evacuation, the emergency coordinator shall restrict all visitors or other general public from entering the facility until the “all clear” is established.
I. Annual Review
The superintendent or Designated Person shall present a summary of this program to the School Board for review and approval on at least an annual basis.
All St. Cloud School District employees shall receive training on the following components of the Emergency Action Plan.
In addition to the above, all St Cloud School District employees shall receive the following training as part of new employee orientation and at least annually thereafter: Specifically addressing the buildings in which they are assigned to work.
In addition to the above, those employees with specific emergency duties shall receive the following training as part of new employee orientation and at least annually thereafter:
Building employees shall receive training initially before working in the building and annual refresher training thereafter. In addition, special training may be required if facility changes occur (for example, emergency escape routes altered, new high hazard areas or change in the Emergency Action Plan itself).
To evaluate the overall effectiveness of the Plan and ensure building occupants can adequately respond to a “real-life” emergency, periodic evacuation drills should be conducted. The emergency coordinator should thoroughly review and critique the results of the drill to evaluate the impact of the training program.
A training log is in Appendix B. St Cloud School District shall retain all training records for two years (minimum).
St Cloud School District will comply with Community Right To Know requirements (see separate written safety plan) and update the following information at least annually and submit it to the local fire department for review by the fire chief:
The following checklist is intended to provide a quick reference for St Cloud School District to evaluate their level of compliance with OSHA’s Means of Egress standard (29 CFR 1910.35-1910.40).
Note: This checklist is not intended to be comprehensive in nature. St Cloud School District should refer to its respective Emergency Action Plan which further outlines general compliance requirements.
Click here to download School Fire, Tornado & Lockdown Drill Instructions & Record (Please Post in Office)
School Evacuation Drill Issues
What does the law say?
Minnesota Statutes, section 299F.30, subd. I, requires each superintendent, principal or other person in charge of a school to instruct and train the students and other occupants of the building to quickly and expeditiously leave the building in case of fire or other emergency by means of at least five drills or rapid dismissals each year. One within the first ten days of the school year, and two additional fire drills for summer school. Written records of these drills are required to be posted and available for review by the state fire marshal at all times and must include the drill date and the time required to evacuate the building.
Section 13.301(c) of the Minnesota Uniform Fire Code (MUFC) requires that fire drills include the complete evacuation of all persons from the building. MUFC(91), Sec. 13.30(e) requires that fire drills be initiated by activation of the building fire alarm system.
Basic fire drill concepts
The main purpose of fire drills is to acquaint the school’s students, teachers and staff with the location of the building exits and train them on what they are expected to do in an emergency. Some major factors to consider include:
Basic emergency plan concepts: A good emergency plan incorporates four basic concepts – rescue, alarm, confine, and extinguish:
Rescue: The Number One Priority: is to rescue person in immediate danger.
Alarm: The fire alarm system needs to be activated to alert everyone else in the building that there is a problem so that the building can be evacuated, assistance can be obtained in rescuing persons in immediate danger and the fire department can be notified.
Confine: As each room is vacated, the door should be closed to help confine fire and keep the exit system clear of heat, smoke and toxic gases. Room doors should be kept closed at all times when they are unoccupied.
Extinguish: Fires should be extinguished only if safe to do so. If a fire can’t be put out within 30 seconds of the time it is discovered, it most likely is too large to be handled by portable extinguishers. Everyone should leave the area and the fire should be handled by the fire department.
There should be an individualized emergency plan for each school. In addition, it is strongly recommended that primary and alternative escape routes be posted in each room used by students or staff. In addition to the basic concepts mentioned earlier, some of the major components and points that should be incorporated into the emergency plan include:
Construction Alternatives to Complete Building Evacuation
The fire/life safety requirements applicable to educational occupancies that are found in current fire and building codes are based on the concept of total building evacuation. The strategy here is to protect lives by moving all the occupants to the exterior and as far away from the building as possible. With current full inclusion and ADA mandates, building populations now include persons who need assistance or are incapable of taking action for their own self-preservation because of physical and/or mental disabilities. Because of security and safety concerns, school exit doors are now being equipped with locking hardware which restricts free escape to the exterior of the building. These factors present new challenges for school administrators and fire departments; challenges which were not likely considered when current codes were developed. With this in mind, it’s perhaps time to consider defend-in-place strategies for schools similar to those applied to healthcare occupancies – the philosophy being to provide for early warning and suppression of fire and safe areas within the building itself, rather than evacuation to the exterior. Some possible alternatives to consider [for purposes of discussion only at this time]:
Elevators have long been avoided as serving any part of a required emergency exit system. Sec. 1104.1.3 of the State Building Code now has provisions dealing with elevators as a portion of an accessible means of egress.
There have been three major problems with elevators over the years:
The appropriateness of using elevators in an emergency fire evacuation definitely bears some further discussion.
You can download these documents directly from this written plan by clicking on the following links: