The following statement was released today [Wednesday, May 7] by the U.S. Department of Education, the American Red Cross, and the Montgomery County Public Schools concerning this Saturday's training of teachers and other school-based staff in emergency preparedness first aid.
The training is scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon at the Montgomery College Physical Education Center on North Campus Drive in Rockville for more than 200 pre-registered participants. A press conference is scheduled there at 10:30 a.m.
U.S. Department of Education Launches Program To Make Schools Safer
-- Teachers, Students to Receive American Red Cross First Aid training
WASHINGTON, May 7, 2003 -- In an effort to help both teachers and students better prepare for an emergency, the U.S. Department of Education is launching a national pilot program to provide first aid training to teachers, school staff and middle school students.
The initiative, spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Education, brings together federal and local agencies and the American Red Cross as part of the government's continuing emergency preparedness efforts. Once the pilot program is evaluated and refined, it will be rolled out to school districts across the nation.
The Montgomery County (Maryland) school system in suburban Washington, DC, has been chosen as the pilot test site due to its experience in dealing with major emergency preparedness issues. The program, run by the American Red Cross, will be kicked off this Saturday, May 10, at the Montgomery College Physical Education Center in Rockville, Maryland with a one-day seminar, “First Aid Training for Emergency Preparedness.” The voluntary training in first aid is being offered to middle school teachers and staff members from both public and private schools in Montgomery County; trained school staff will then pass this valuable first aid information on to middle school students in special sessions this spring and next fall.
The training will certify participants in basic first aid. In addition, schools with trained staff will receive a two-hour first aid curriculum for students, prepared by the American Red Cross, which can be presented as part of each school's own emergency preparedness program. The curriculum is consistent with the health education curriculum in first aid for middle school students of the Montgomery County Public Schools.
“It is critical that our children and teachers be adequately prepared for emergencies that might arise in schools,” said Eric Andell, deputy undersecretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools at the U.S. Department of Education. “Given amount of time our children spend in our nation's schools, it is very important that we put this kind of first aid program in place. The more knowledge we have, the better prepared we are to respond quickly and in the best interest of students and school personnel, and of course parents, who should know that schools are better preparing their children for an emergency.”
“This opportunity will showcase how collaboration among the Red Cross, school districts, and local government can make schools safer environments for our children,” said Marsha J. Evans, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. “We hope that students will also take this emergency preparedness information home and share it with their families.”
“Teachers and staff of our schools recognize very well that fundamental skills in first aid are a key component of emergency preparedness, especially at a time of greater threats to the health and safety of all of us,” said Dr. Jerry D. Weast, Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools.
About the U.S. Department of Education
The U S. Department of Education is the agency of the federal government that establishes policy for, administers, and coordinates most federal assistance to education. It assists the president in executing his education policies for the nation and in implementing laws enacted by Congress. The Department's mission is to serve America's students -- to ensure that all have equal access to education and to promote excellence in our nation's schools.
About the American Red Cross
Governed by volunteers and supported by community donations, the American Red Cross is a nationwide network of nearly 1,000 chapters and Blood Services regions dedicated to saving lives and helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Led by 1.2 million volunteers and 30,000 employees, the Red Cross annually mobilizes relief to families affected by more than 67,000 disasters, trains almost 12 million people in lifesaving skills and exchanges more than a million emergency messages for U.S. military service personnel and their families. The Red Cross is the largest supplier of blood and blood products to more than 3,000 hospitals across the nation and also assists victims of international disasters and conflicts at locations worldwide.
About Montgomery County Public Schools
Montgomery County's school system, located in the suburbs of the Nation's capital, is the largest school system in Maryland and 18th largest and the 12th fastest growing in the United States. More than 139,000 students are enrolled in 191 schools, from pre-kindergarten through the twelfth grade. The emergency preparedness first aid program focuses on the teachers and staff who serve the more than 32,400 students enrolled in the school system's 36 middle schools.
A copy of the formal announcement is available as a PDF file at the link below.