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September 19th, 2014
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Critical Incident Response Exercise at Spring Grove Middle School

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Written by: Lt. David Lash
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The Northern York County Regional Police Department and the Spring Grove Area School District will conduct a Critical Incident Response Exercise (CIRE) on Friday, September 26.  The CIRE is designed to provide district staff, police and first responders the opportunity to practice their planned responses to an immediate threat in a school setting.  This event is the result of nearly a year of collaboration and planning between the school district and the police department.

District superintendent, Dr. Robert Lombardo, outlined four goals for the school district in this exercise:

  1. To practice a district-wide lockdown
  2. An evacuation of the entire Middle School
  3. The relocation of the MS staff and students to another building on campus
  4. To rehearse the  reunification of  students with parents.

NYCRPD Chief Mark Bentzel, outlined goals for the police component:

  1. Practice inter-department communication and coordination
  2. Implement a multi-disciplinary command structure
  3. Continued improvement and implementation of strategies and policies used to confront and contain critical incidents

Law enforcement agencies from York and Lancaster Counties will be participating in the drill.  School district officials from across the Susquehanna Valley will be present to observe the exercise.

Old Hanover Road in Jackson Township will be periodically closed between the hours of 7am and noon for drill activities.  The Northern York County Regional Police Department urges motorists to use alternate routes during the time of the drill.

The exercise will focus on the 7th and 8th grade students at the Middle School, located on Old Hanover Road in Spring Grove. School administrators have communicated the plan for the morning-long exercise to residents, business owners and parents throughout the district in an effort to make sure all are aware that this is only a drill.

WHTM-TV ABC 27 has partnered with the Northern York County Regional Police Department and the Spring Grove Area School District to provide equipment and photojournalists to capture the drill as events unfold.  ABC 27 will then provide the District and the NYCRPD with a comprehensive video that will be used for training and demonstration.

NOTE:

Videotaping and photography will be allowed ONLY from the designated area on Old Hanover Road across from the middle school.   Media personnel are invited to join the observer group; however, cameras will NOT be allowed at that spot. There will be several monitors set up there with closed circuit feeds of the actual drill. If you wish to be in the observer area, you must RSVP with Lisa Smith no later than Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 12:00pm – detailed information on parking and a timeline will be sent following the RSVP.

Please call if you have any questions. Lisa Smith, Community Relations Coordinator for SGASD, 717-225-4731 x3031.

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