Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting some new Joffe team members. They are and were Emergency Preparedness Consultants (EPCs), finishing up their extensive training with two weeks of in-person learning and application of skills. As I type this, they are fanning out across the country, returning to their home bases in order to serve schools from Atlanta to Denver, and everywhere in between (well, not everywhere yet).
Being around all of these new hires was revitalizing. This is a group of people that is excited to serve their community and to create positive, lasting changes that help keep schools safe. My confidence in them and the work they are setting out to do is immense.
My job is to underline, emphasize, and call attention to the transformative change these dedicated individuals can bring to your school community. With that in mind, I think it is worthwhile to outline the benefits and details of the program our EPC team can implement
Now, any safety program worth its salt will adjust to your school’s specific needs and environment. It’s the element of Joffe’s school safety division I appreciate the most. The most effective way to create necessary change is through our combination of experience, knowledge, and conversation with our school partner. With the acknowledgement that there's no one-size-fits-all solution to school safety, here are some basic tenets of a safety program a EPC works on at schools nationwide.
All schools need enough food, water, and first aid materials to last for up to three days following an emergency. Not only will your safety consultant ensure your storage is stocked with the needed materials, they can audit your existing stash and advise on where your school could use some shoring up. Many of our partner schools also ask us to arrange materials into grab and go containers to simplify their processes in a given situation
Development and Training of Safety Teams
The most valuable resource any school has at its disposal in an emergency is the school community themselves! Your employees know the students, environment, and potential sticking points better than anyone. Our safety training is designed to instill confidence in those people, so that the end result is a eminently prepared community with the ability to identify and respond to threats and emergencies. Eventually, our partner schools form teams composed of their employees, that handle elements of emergency response like search and rescue, first aid, reunification, long range care, crisis communication, and more.
Partnership and Peace of Mind
The long-term goal of our training is to provide our partner schools with the knowledge and training they need to capably lead a response to an emergency of any severity. All of the steps we take together in our safety program are in the pursuit of that milestone. Of course, school safety isn’t the only responsibility your community faces, and so it may take some time. In the interim, all of our partners have access to our 24/7 Emergency Line for support of emergencies of any scale.
As your community becomes more knowledgeable and prepared over the course of our partnership, you’ll see benefits beyond just increased safety. Did you know that independent school parents consistently rank “school safety” as one of the top three reasons they enrolled their student where they did? We love dealing with parents at Joffe (no, really!) and will gladly lead a safety discussion that involves parents and other members of your school community. It’s the catchy tagline on our website, but it’s also at the core of all of the services we offer. Simply stated, we are safer together.