Glens Falls City School District Emergency Response Plan

Glens Falls City School District


1. Introductory Materials

Plan Development and Maintenance

8 NYCRR Section 155.17 (b) and 155.17 (c)(11) – requires that each school shall have a Building Level School Safety Team that consists of representatives from the following groups: teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel, community members, local law enforcement officials, local ambulance or other emergency response agencies, and any other representatives the board of education, chancellor or other governing body deems appropriate.

The Building Level School Safety Team is responsible for the overall development, maintenance, and revision of the Emergency Response Plan (ERP) and for coordinating training and exercising the School ERP. Team members are expected to work closely together to make recommendations for revising and enhancing the plan.

Building Level Safety Team

  • Dr. Krislynn Dengler, Superintendent, GFCSD, (518) 792-1212
  • Bobby Yusko, Assistant Superintendent, GFCSD, (518) 792-1481
  • Tammy Silvernell, Assistant Superintendent, GFCSD, (518) 792-0107
  • Ken Chester, Director of Buildings and Grounds, GFCSD, (518) 792-2706
  • John Norton, School Resource Officer, Glens Falls Police Department, (518) 761-3840
  • Lisa Palmer, Director of Human Resources, GFCSD, (518) 792-1212

Various agencies and services are involved in responding to school incidents, including emergency responders from law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, mental health and other community organizations. An important component of the School ERP is advanced planning with various federal, state, county and/or local agencies, as well as community service providers to aid in a timely response to an incident. Advance planning may or may not include written agreements to help coordinate services between the agencies and school. If Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) are created, a copy shall be listed in Appendix D. Advanced planning should specify the type of communication and services provided by one agency to another.

Distribution of the Plan

8 NYCRR Section 155.17 (e)(3) mandates that a copy of the ERP and any amendments shall be filed with the appropriate local law enforcement agency and with the New York State Police within thirty days of adoption.

Send Building Level Safety Plans to:

New York State Police Headquarters – Field Command Attn: Safe Schools NY
1220 Washington Avenue, Building 22 Albany, NY 12226

Or by email to:

School ERPs are confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure under Article VI of the Public Officers Law or any other provision of law.

Record of Distribution

Copies of the emergency response plan, including appendices and annexes are recommended to be distributed to your School Safety Team, local fire department, area law enforcement (including village, town, county and state police), local and county emergency management, the district superintendent and any other persons deemed appropriate by the School Safety Team. Distribution of the ERP shall be recorded in the following table:

Agency: GFCSD

Name of Receiving Party: BOE

Updated: July 1, 2022
Posted to the public on website: July 7, 2022
Public Hearing: August 8, 2022
Date Distributed: August 8, 2022

Plan Review and Updates

8 NYCRR Section 155.17 (b) requires the School Safety Team to review its ERP annually and update it by July 1st as needed. Each update or change to the plan shall be recorded here.

2. Purpose and Situation Overview

Schools are exposed to many threats, hazards, and vulnerabilities. All of these have the potential for disrupting the school community, exposing students/staff to injury, and causing damage to public or private property. The interior and exterior portions of all school buildings, school grounds and surrounding neighborhoods should be assessed for potential threats/hazards that may impact the site, staff, and students.

Potential Threats to a School

  • Explosion or Fire Potential
  • All buildings – basement level gas and electrical services/boiler room

The threat/hazard assessment was completed on 7/1/2022.
Specific Annexes used to address the above listed threats/hazards can be found in the Threat and Hazard Specific Annexes section.

The following table was used to aid if assessing possible threats/hazards to Glens Falls City School District:

Threats, Hazard Types, and Examples

Natural Hazards
  • Earthquakes
  • Tornadoes
  • Lightning
  • Severe wind
  • Hurricanes
  • Floods
  • Wildfires
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Landslides or mudslides
  • Winter precipitation
  • Wildlife
Technological Hazards
  • Explosions or accidental release of toxins from industrial plants
  • Accidental release of hazardous materials from within the school, such as gas leaks or laboratory spills
  • Hazardous materials releases from major highways or railroads
  • Radiological releases from nuclear power stations
  • Dam failure
  • Power failure
  • Water failure
Biological Hazards
  • Infectious diseases, such as pandemic influenza, extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, Staphylococcus aureus, and meningitis
  • Contaminated food outbreaks, including Salmonella, botulism, and E. coli
  • Toxic materials present in school laboratories
Adversarial, Incidental, or Human-caused Threats
  • Fire
  • Active shooters
  • Criminal threats or actions
  • Gang violence
  • Bomb threats
  • Domestic violence and abuse
  • Cyber attacks
  • Suicide

Gas emergency preparedness

When hiring contractors to complete work at our facilities, it is critical for them to call 811 before digging. They must wait until all utilities are marked out.

National Grid operates natural gas pipelines on or near your facility. Distribution lines are located throughout neighborhoods and connect to appliances in homes, businesses and schools.

  • Pipeline markers and gas meters identify general location of our natural gas lines.
  • Pipeline markers and meters indicate the approximate, but not exact location of pipelines. Markers identify National Grid as the pipeline operator and list our emergency phone numbers and product being transported. Gas meters connect distribution pipelines and customer-owned piping that connects gas appliances.
  • Because natural gas does not have an odor, National Grid has added a harmless material known as mercaptan to help the public identify natural gas.

    Signs of a natural gas leak include:

    • A sulphur or “rotten egg” odor near a natural gas pipeline, appliance or meter

    • Hissing, whistling or roaring sounds

    • Dirt spraying into the air, continuous bubbling in ponds, creeks or areas of standing water

    • Dead or dying vegetation in an otherwise green area

  • Depending on circumstances, facility safety plans may call for evacuating building occupants or shelter-in-place procedures. It is important to notify National Grid at 1-800-892-2345 and call 911 immediately if a natural gas leak is suspected. If a natural gas leak is suspected, leave the area of the leak in an upwind direction and warn others to stay away. Until you are a safe distance away, do not operate any device that might create a spark, including electronics, cell phones, vehicles or electric switches.

  • Pick up and drop off locations may cross nearby natural gas pipelines and should be avoided during any type of evacuation due to a natural gas pipeline emergency.

  • Call 24-hours a day at 1-800-892-2345 to report a potential natural gas leak or any other National Grid related emergency.

  • Be alert to any public construction or excavation on or near your facility grounds. Be sure that any excavator working on your property has contacted DigSafely New York 811 to arrange for marking of buried natural gas lines and other utilities.

    Emergency Response Planning & Coordination

    Natural gas emergencies require immediate and coordinated response between our facility personnel, National Grid and local emergency responders. Initially, facility staff will be focused on notifications and executing evacuation or shelter-in-place procedures if needed.

    Local first responders will initially focus on securing the area, assessing the scene and responding to immediate medical and safety needs.

    National Grid personnel on-site will restrict the flow of natural gas and take additional actions to minimize the impact of the emergency and to protect your facility staff and the public.

    For additional natural gas safety information, please go to

Planning Assumptions and Limitations

Stating the planning assumptions allows the school to deviate from the plan if certain assumptions prove not to be true during operations. The Glens Falls City School District ERP is established under the following assumptions:

  • The school community will continue to be exposed and subject to threats/hazards and vulnerabilities described in the Threat/Hazards Assessments Annex, as well as lesser threats/hazards that may develop in the future.
  • A major disaster could occur at any time and at any place. In many cases dissemination of warning to the public and implementation of increased readiness measures may be possible; however, most emergency situations occur with little or no warning.
  • A single site incident could occur at any time without warning and the employees of the school affected cannot and should not, wait for direction from local response agencies. Action is required immediately to save lives and protect school property.
  • There may be a number of injuries of varying degrees of seriousness to faculty, staff, and/or students. Rapid and appropriate response can reduce the number and severity of injuries.
  • Outside assistance from local fire, law enforcement and emergency services will be available in most serious incidents. Because it takes time to request and dispatch external assistance, it is essential for the school to be prepared to carry out the initial incident response until emergency responders arrive at the incident scene.
  • Actions taken before an incident can stop or reduce incident-related losses.
  • Maintaining the Glens Falls City School District ERP and providing frequent opportunities for training and exercising the plan for stakeholders (staff, students, parents/guardians, first responders, etc.) can improve the schools readiness to respond to incidents.

3. Concept of Operations

The overall strategy of a Glens Falls City School District ERP is to execute effective and timely decisions and actions that prevent harm, protect lives and property, mitigate damages, restore order and aid recovery. This plan is based upon the concept that the incident management functions that must be performed by the school generally parallel some of their daily routine functions. To the extent possible, the same personnel and material resources used for daily activities will be employed during incidents. Because personnel and equipment resources are limited, some routine functions that do not contribute directly to the incident may be suspended. The personnel, equipment, and supplies that would typically be required from those routine functions will be redirected to accomplish assigned incident management tasks.

Implementation of the Incident Command System (ICS)

The Incident Command System (ICS) will be used to manage all incidents and major planned events/drills. The Incident Commander at the school will be delegated the authority to direct all incident activities within the schools jurisdiction. The Incident Commander will establish an Incident Command Post (ICP) and provide an assessment of the situation to the emergency responders, identify incident management resources required and direct the on-scene incident management activities from the ICP. If no Incident Commander is present at the onset of the incident, the most qualified individual will assume command until relieved by a more qualified Incident Commander. 8 NYCRR Section 155.17 (e)(2)(v) requires a definition of a chain of command consistent with the Incident Command System. This chain of command shall be documented in the table included in Appendix B.

Initial Response

Glens Falls City School District personnel are likely to be the first on the scene of an incident in a school setting. Staff and faculty are expected to respond as appropriate and notify the Principal, or designee until command is transferred to someone more qualified and/or to an emergency response agency with legal authority to assume responsibility (Police, Fire or EMS dependent upon the nature of the incident). Staff will seek guidance and direction from the Glens Falls City School District and emergency responders.

Any staff person or faculty in a building that sees or is aware of an emergency shall activate the ERP.

4. Organization and Assignment of Responsibilities

This section establishes the operational organization that will be relied on to manage an incident and includes examples of the types of tasks that may be performed by different positions.

The Incident Commander is not able to manage all of the aspects associated with an incident without assistance. The school relies on other key school personnel to perform tasks that will ensure the safety of students and staff during a crisis or incident. The Incident Command System (ICS) uses a team approach to manage incidents. It is difficult to form a team while a crisis or incident is unfolding. Roles should be pre-assigned based on training and qualifications. Each staff member and volunteer must be familiar with his or her role and responsibilities before an incident occurs.

Other Staff

Responsibilities include:

  • Execute assignments as directed by the Incident Commander

Bus Drivers

Responsibilities include:

  • Supervise the care of students if disaster occurs while students are on the bus
  • Transfer students to new location when directed
  • Execute assignments as directed by the Incident Commander


Responsibilities include:

  • Encourage and support school safety, violence prevention and incident preparedness programs within the school
  • Participate in volunteer service projects for promoting school incident preparedness
  • Provide the school with requested information concerning the incident, early/late dismissals and other related release information
  • Listen to and follow directions as provided by the School District


Responsibilities include:

  • Cooperate during emergency drills, exercises and during an incident
  • Follow directions given by facility and staff.
  • Know student emergency actions and assist fellow students in an incident
  • Report situations of concern (e.g. “If you see something, say something.”)
  • Develop an awareness of the high priority threats/hazards and how to take measures to protect against and mitigate those threats/hazards


The Superintendent (or their designee) will serve as the Incident Commander and designate a minimum of two qualified individuals to serve as alternates in the event that the Superintendent is unable to serve in that role. At all times, the Superintendent still retains the ultimate responsibility for the overall safety of students and staff.

Responsibilities include:

  • Provide direction over all incident management actions based on procedures outlined in this ERP
  • Take steps necessary to ensure the safety of students, staff and others
  • Determine which emergency protocols to implement as described in the functional annexes of this ERP
  • Coordinate/cooperate with emergency responders
  • Keep the BOE informed of the situation

Teachers / Substitute Teacher / Student Teachers

Teachers shall be responsible for the supervision of students and shall remain with students unless directed to do otherwise.

Responsibilities include:

  • Supervise students under their charge
  • Take steps to ensure the safety of students, staff, and other individuals.
  • Take attendance when class relocates to an inside or outside designated area or to an evacuation site
  • Report missing students to the appropriate Emergency Response Team Member
  • Execute assignments as directed by the Incident Commander.
  • Obtain first aid services for injured students from the school nurse or person trained in first aid. Arrange for first aid for those who are unable to be moved
  • Render first aid or CPR if certified and deemed necessary


The principal (or their designee) will serve as the Incident Commander and designate a minimum of two qualified individuals to serve as alternates in the event that the principal is unable to serve in that role. At all times, the principal still retains the ultimate responsibility for the overall safety of students and staff.

Responsibilities include:

  • Provide direction over all incident management actions based on procedures outlined in this ERP
  • Take steps necessary to ensure the safety of students, staff and others
  • Determine which emergency protocols to implement as described in the functional annexes of this ERP
  • Coordinate/cooperate with emergency responders
  • Keep the Superintendent informed of the situation

Counselors, Social Workers & School Psychologists

Responsibilities include:

  • Take steps to ensure the safety of students, staff and other individuals during the implementation of the ERP
  • Provide appropriate direction to students as described in this ERP for the incident type
  • Render first aid or CPR and/or psychological aid if trained to do so
  • Assist in the transfer of students, staff and others when their safety is threatened by an emergency
  • Administer counseling services as deemed necessary during or after an incident
  • Execute assignments as directed by the Incident Commander

Teaching Assistants

Responsibilities include assisting teachers as directed and actions to ensure the safety of students.

Custodians/Maintenance Staff

Responsibilities include:

  • Survey and report building damage to the Incident Commander
  • Control main shutoff valves for gas, water, and electricity and ensure that no hazard results from broken or downed lines
  • Provide damage control as needed
  • Assist in the conservation, use and disbursement of supplies and equipment
  • Control locks and physical security as directed by the Incident Commander
  • Keep Incident Commander informed of the condition of the school
  • Execute assignments as directed by the Incident Commander

School Nurse/Health Assistant

Responsibilities include:

  • Administer first aid or emergency treatment as needed
  • Supervise administration of first aid by those trained to provide it
  • Organize first aid and medical supplies
  • Execute assignments as directed by the Incident Commander

Food Service/Cafeteria Workers

Responsibilities include:

  • Prepare and serve food and water on a rationed basis whenever the feeding of students and
    staff becomes necessary during an incident
  • Execute assignments as directed by the Incident Commander

Principal’s Secretary/Office Secretaries

Responsibilities include:

  • Answer phones and assist in receiving and providing consistent information to callers
  • Provide for the safety of essential school records and documents
  • Provide assistance to the Incident Commander/Principal
  • Monitor radio emergency broadcasts
  • Execute assignments as directed by the Incident Commander

5. Direction, Control and Coordination

To provide for effective direction, control and coordination of an incident, the Glens Falls City School District ERP will be activated through the implementation of the Incident Command System (ICS).

Staff are assigned to serve within the ICS structure based on their expertise, training and the needs of the incident. Roles should be pre-assigned based on training and qualifications. Glens Falls City School District ICS is organized as follows:

Incident Commander (IC)

Directs Incident Management Activities:

  • Primary: Dr. Krislynn Dengler
  • Alternate: Bobby Yusko
  • Alternate: Tammy Silvernell

Public Information Officer (PIO)

Acts as liaison between school and public (including media):

  • Primary: Skye Heritage
  • Alternate: Amy Towers
  • Alternate: None

Safety Officer

Responsible for the overall safety of all persons involved:

  • Primary: John Norton
  • Alternate: Joseph Boisclair
  • Alternate: Major Robert Patnaude

Liaison Officer

Responsible for coordinating with outside/emergency agencies:

  • Primary: John Norton
  • Alternate: None
  • Alternate: None


Responsible for collection, evaluation, dissemination, and use of information


Carries out response activities, universal procedures, etc.


Responsible for organizing resources and personnel

Finance and Administration

Responsible for incident accounting, costs and reimbursement

6. Information Collection, Analysis and Dissemination

The Glens Falls City School District will collect, analyze, and disseminate information during and after an incident.

Types of Information

During an incident, the school will assign administrative staff to monitor weather and local law enforcement alerts. This information will be analyzed and shared with the Incident Commander.

After an incident, the school will assign staff to monitor websites and hotlines of mental health, emergency management and relief agencies. The school will also monitor the school district information portal, to determine any information pertinent or critical to the schools recovery effort.

Information Documentation

The assigned staff member will document the information gathered including:

  • Source of information
  • Staff member who collected and analyzed the information
  • Staff member to receive and use the information
  • Format for providing the information
  • Date and time the information was collected and shared

7. Training Exercises

Glens Falls City School District understands the importance of training, drills, and exercises in being prepared to deal with an incident. To ensure that Glens Falls City School District personnel and community responders are aware of their responsibilities under the Glens Falls City School District ERP, the following training and exercise actions should occur.


All Glens Falls City School District staff, students, and others deemed appropriate by the school should receive training during the school year to better prepare them for an incident.

  • Roles and Responsibilities – Deliver at start of school year
  • Incident Command System (ICS) Training – Training should be completed prior to assignment to an ICS role. Online training is available through the FEMA Independent Study Program at ICS classes are offered through the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) at Or by contacting your local emergency management agency.
  • Annual training
    • Review ERP with staff
    • Conduct full staff briefings on roles to perform during an emergency
    • Ensure all staff have been briefed in the communications and notifications requirements set forth in the ERP
    • Conduct student briefings on roles they perform during an emergency

Drills & Exercises

At a minimum, Glens Falls City School District will conduct the following exercises/drills annually:

  • Section 807 of the Education Law mandates that pupils must receive instruction on how to exit the building in the shortest possible time without confusion or panic. The instruction must be in the form of drills or rapid dismissals and must include a minimum of 12 drills each school year.
  • 8 NYCRR Section 155.17 (e)(3) – each building level emergency response plan shall be tested including sheltering and early dismissal (no earlier than 15 minutes before normal dismissal).

The following is recommended:

  • 1 – Lockdown drill – Announced (first marking period)
  • 3 – Lockdown drills – Unannounced (quarterly – following first announced drill)

Lockdown drills will be conducted internally to ensure that Glens Falls City School District staff have the ability to secure the facility and students against an immediate threat to life and safety. Such drills will cause minimal interruption to academic activities and will involve the clearance of hallways, locking of classrooms and positioning of students and staff in pre-designated “safe areas” within each room. Where possible, the school should seek out opportunities to conduct full-scale response exercises with law enforcement.

Whenever a lockdown drill will be conducted, whether announced or unannounced, Glens Falls City School District will notify local law enforcement and/or the regional 911 Emergency Dispatch Center prior to and at the conclusion of the drill.  This will be done to ensure that law enforcement does not receive a false report that Glens Falls City School District is in actual lockdown.  Any announcements made during a drill will be preceded and ended with the phrase “this is a drill”.  This will ensure that all involved recognize that this is a drill and not a real incident (i.e. “may I have your attention, this is a drill -LOCKDOWN -this is a drill”).  Additionally, a sign or notice will also be placed at all public entrances indicating that a drill is in progress and to wait for service “SAFETY DRILL IN PROGRESS – PLEASE WAIT.”  This will serve to notify any uninformed parents or visitors and prevent unwarranted panic.

Drill and training dates will be documented.

8. Administration, Finance and Logistics

Agreements & Contracts

If Glens Falls City School District resources prove to be inadequate during an incident, Glens Falls City School District will request assistance from local emergency agencies, other agencies and industry in accordance with existing Memoranda of Understanding. Such assistance includes equipment, supplies and/or personnel. All agreements are entered into by authorized school district and school officials. Copies of these agreements are located in Appendix D.


The ICS Section Chiefs will maintain accurate logs recording key incident management activities including:

  • Activation or deactivation of incident facilities
  • Significant changes in the incident situation
  • Major commitments of resources or requests for additional resources from external sources
  • Issuance of protective action recommendations to staff and students
  • Evacuations
  • Casualties
  • Containment or termination of the incident

Incident Costs

The ICS Finance/Administration Section is responsible for maintaining records summarizing the use of personnel, equipment and supplies to obtain an estimate of incident response costs that can be used in preparing future school budgets and to share these costs with the Superintendent and District Business Office. These records may be used to recover costs from the responsible party or insurers or as a basis for requesting financial assistance for certain allowable response and recovery costs from the State and/or Federal government.

Preservation of Records

In order to continue normal school operations following an incident, records such as legal documents and student files must be protected (i.e. in the event of a fire and flood).

9. Authorities and References

The following are State and Federal authorizations upon which this Glens Falls City School District ERP is based. These authorities and references provide a legal basis for emergency management operations and activities.

  • The New York State Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (Project SAVE) and 8 NYCRR Section 155.17 require that school emergency plans define the chain of command in a manner consistent with the Incident Command System (ICS). Refer to Appendix B for the defined chain of command.
  • New York State Executive Order 26.1 (2006), established ICS as the states standard command and control system that will be utilized during emergency operations.
  • Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) – 5 required the development of National Incident Management System (NIMS), of which ICS is a critical component.