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Its a Drill? Its a Drill?

There is a role for school based therapists to play in the emergency evacuation of students with disabilities. Consider this: areas of refuge are common place. But if that student was your child, would you want him/her to be "left behind"? When every other student has left the building? A parent in Maryland pushed back against this and new legislation was passed to ensure ALL children are evacuated during an emergency - as it should be.

That created some challenges for adminstrators: How can we safely evacuate students? Those who are unable to manage the stairs in a timely fashion? School therapists to the rescue! The "experts" in safe mobilization of students in schools.

So, how can a school based therapist assist the student and the team? By making the decision on the SAFEST method to evacuate the student and helping the team develop a plan for the student's evacuation. School therapists can assist with device selection if a device is needed, training school personnel on student transfers in and out of a device, and the management of the device. Be sure your decision making includes administrators at the school house level- the administrative team must appoint several responders who will actually evacuate the student and will be trained by you.


My personal favorite device for evacuating students is the Evacutrac made by Garaventa. It is easy to use and train others on its use.

I'm including a template I have created to assist teams in the development of an evacuation plan. Please let me know your thoughts!

Evacuation Plan
Download PDF • 84KB

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