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Crane District to hold mock evacuation from location school

Sun - 11/20/2017

The Crane School District will test its updated emergency plan Tuesday with a mock drill at Valley Horizon Elementary School.

In collaboration with the Yuma Police Department, Yuma Fire Department, Yuma County Office of Emergency Management, Yuma County Public Health Emergency Preparedness, and the Arizona Department of Education, the school district will be practicing an evacuation and reunification plan for the students and staff of Valley Horizon Elementary School, the school district said in a news release.

"As educators, our first and most important priority is ensuring the safety and security of our students," said Laurie Doering, Superintendent of Crane Elementary School District. "Conducting exercises like this, help us to refine our practices and procedures to improve our opportunities to act in the event of an actual emergency."

The mock exercise will start at noon Tuesday and access to the areas surrounding the school may be briefly impacted, said Crane's Chief of Finance and Operations Dale Ponder.

The district's governing board was informed of the exercise at its Nov. 15 board meeting, where Ponder said that about 70 students would be participating.

Students and staff will evacuate the school to an off-site relocation point, which for this exercise will be Desert Sun Stadium off of Avenue A. Students will be transported by school bus to the stadium at the Yuma Civic Center, where they will be reunified with their parents.

Other school districts in the area were invited to observe the event, Ponder said.

"November 2009 marked the last time that an exercise of this nature was performed in Yuma, so it made sense to allow others the opportunity to follow the process that we have developed to see if replication makes sense for their organization," he said.

The agencies involved with this exercise appreciate the public's understanding in allowing the district to exercise its emergency response plans to become better prepared in the event of an actual emergency.

Questions regarding the exercise may be directed to Ponder at 928-373- 3405 or via email to dponder@craneschools.org.


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