Cooke County holds emergency preparedness seminar

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COOKE COUNTY, TX - School administrators from all over the county were in class today sharing ideas to better keep their students and campus safe.
They also worked together with first responders and law enforcement to plan for emergencies.

The Cooke County Emergency Management hosted a school emergency preparedness seminar Tuesday to help provide area schools officials with important information in case of emergencies.

"We wanted primarily school district leadership. So we had principals, superintendents, transportation directors, maintenance directors. All of the people they felt was going to be part of their team should a large incident occur on their school property," said Ray Fletcher, Cooke County Emergency Management Coordinator.

The National Weather Service presented information on severe weather readiness to help these schools prepare for incidents like the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma that destroyed the Plaza Towers Elementary School, killing six children.

The Sheriff's Office offered information on trends of violence and criminal events that have, or could affect local schools.

The State Health Services provided up to date instruction on how school administrators should handle potential disease outbreaks and medical conditions.

"Our goal was to put them in touch with each other resources as well as those outside resources that can help them before and after a disaster and even during the recovery process," said Fletcher.

The administrators present said they'll take away some important lessons from the preparedness seminar that will benefit not only the students, but the entire community.

"I've also been able to reflect on the things learned here today that there are some other issues that I need to go back and look at and make sure our procedures are correct or some things that we need to tweak a little bit to make sure our kids are safe," said Matt Davenport, superintendent for Walnut Bend I.S.D.

"I feel like the kids in my care, the parents bring them there to me and I'm just like their parent when they're gone. If it were my child, I would do all I could for it, so that's what I'm going to do for these," said Sandy Knabe, director of Claude Jones daycare.

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