July 5, 2019 --
School District No. 57 has begun the installation of signs at select schools throughout Prince George to indicate their designation as official Community Evacuation Assembly Points in the event of an evacuation.
Earlier this year, the City of Prince George and the school district signed a memorandum of understanding in part to select primary and alternate assembly points at 18 local schools to ensure the safety and well-being of students and residents during an emergency event resulting in evacuation.
Should an evacuation occur while school is in session, the assembly points will be limited to school parking lots to ensure the safety of students attending class. In the event that a school is unavailable to be used during an emergency, the City and school district will work to ensure a feasible alternate assembly location is quickly identified and communicated to the public.
Should any school need to be evacuated due to an emergency, the City will accommodate students and school staff at civic facilities, such as the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre.
"The partnership between School District No. 57 and the City of Prince George was an integral part of our emergency response planning, in the event that we ever need to evacuate a school," said Nadine Neil, the school district's Health and Safety Officer. "By working together with the City, we have secured access to City facilities at a moment's notice to ensure the safety of students and staff."
The City of Prince George worked closely with School District No. 57 to pick the locations of the community evacuation assembly points, which were selected based on their centrality and traffic flow in each evacuation zone. Schools are often selected as community evacuation points as their locations are commonly known to most residents and they tend to be located in every neighbourhood.
"The City of Prince George and School District No. 57 share a strong partnership in safeguarding the well-being of students and residents within the community during any emergency event," said Lyn Hall, Mayor of Prince George. "The City is currently in Year One of a strategic plan to improve the city's readiness for all foreseeable emergencies. Strengthening our partnerships with key local agencies such as the school district is critical to our success."
The schools designated as Community Evacuation Assembly Points are: Beaverly Elementary (9777 Western Rd.); Blackburn Elementary (2222 Blackburn Rd.); Glenview Elementary (7310 Cluff Rd.); Hart Highlands Elementary (2233 Sussex Lane); Harwin Elementary (1193 Harper St.); Heather Park Middle School (7151 Heather Park Rd.); Ecole Lac des Bois Elementary (4131 Rainbow Dr.); Nusdeh Yoh Elementary (2579 Victoria St.); John McInnis Centre (3400 Westwood Dr.); Polaris Montessori (7005 Gladstone Dr.); Quinson Elementary (251 Ogilvie St.); Springwood Elementary (4600 Zral Rd.); Van Bien Elementary (311 Wilson Cres.); Vanway Elementary (4509 Highway 16 West); College Heights Secondary (6180 Domano Blvd.); D.P. Todd Secondary (4444 Hill Ave.); Duchess Park Secondary (747 Winnipeg St.); and Prince George Secondary (2901 Griffths Ave.).
Upon agreement between the school district and the City, any other school may be used as an evacuation assembly point, as required. The above list may change from time to time, and as circumstances dictate during an evacuation event.
The schools that have been selected as assembly points are indicated on the City emergency evacuation map. The map is based largely upon the current City garbage collection map, due to the fact residents are already familiar with the map's coloured zones. A high-resolution copy of the emergency evacuation map is available for download on the City's Emergency Response web page.
A mail-out to all residents of the combined garbage collection and evacuation zone map is planned for 2020.
From left, Mayor Lyn Hall, School District No. 57 Assistant Superintendent Cindy Heitman, School District No. 57 Health and Safety Officer Nadine Neil and City of Prince George Manager, Emergency Programs, Fire Services Adam Davey gather at a Community Evacuation Assembly Point sign at Van Bien Elementary School.