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Yarm Gwanga Emergency and Evacuation Guideline

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) Yarm Gwanga (Service) recognises that the safety and wellbeing of each child, educator and person using the Service is paramount.  On the occasion that the Service is required to be evacuated or locked down to minimise the risk of harm or exposure to danger on the premises, these Guidelines contribute to the completion of the relevant process in a rehearsed, timely, calm and safe manner.

(2) For the purposes of Clause 168(2)(e) of the Education and Care Services National Regulations, this Guideline is considered to be the policy and procedure.

(3) These Guidelines satisfy the following National Quality Standards:

  1. Quality Area 2 Children's Health and Safety
    1. Standard 2.2 Each child is protected.
      1. Element 2.2.1 At all times, reasonable precautions and adequate supervision ensure children are protected from harm and hazard.
      2. Element 2.2.2 Plans to effectively manage incidents and emergencies are developed in consultation with relevant authorities, practiced and implemented.
  2. Quality Area 7 Governance and Leadership
    1. Standard 7.1 Governance
      1. Element 7.1.2 Systems are in place to manage risk and enable effective management and operation of a quality service

(4) These Guidelines contribute to the following Early Years Learning Framework outcomes:

  1. Learning Outcome 3 - Children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing and take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical well being.
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Section 2 - Scope

(5) This Guideline applies to all UNE Representatives, children and families, and all visitors to the Yarm Gwanga Services.

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Section 3 - Guideline

Emergency and Evacuation Instructions

(6) Yarm Gwanga will have an evacuation floor plan and documented instructions (including staff-specific evacuation-related roles) to be followed in the event of an emergency requiring evacuation of the service.

(7) All Yarm Gwanga Educators (including relief educators) will be made aware of the service's Emergency and Evacuation Instructions.

(8) Children attending the Service will be made aware of the Service's Emergency and Evacuation Instructions via discussions and informal games including practice scenarios.

(9) A copy of the evacuation floor plan and emergency instructions will be displayed in a prominent position near each exit at all Yarm Gwanga Service premises.

(10) For the purposes of preparing the emergency and evacuation process, a risk assessment will be conducted to identify potential emergencies that are relevant to the service.

(11) Emergency telephone numbers will be displayed prominently near all telephones located throughout the service.

(12) Work Health and Safety forms and information, including an Emergency Warden Checklist, Risk Identification and Assessment, and UNE Emergency Response Plans will be made available to those using the service.  These are available to UNE staff members via the Workplace Health and Safety section of the current staff webpage http://www.une.edu.au/staff-current/working/health-safety-and-support/workplace-health-and-safety/whs-forms-and-information

(13)  The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) will be notified of the attendance of any emergency services at Yarm Gwanga.  The ACECQA will also be notified if a child is taken or removed from the service in a manner that contravenes the National Regulations, by completion of Form S101 (Notification of Serious Incident) available via the Notifications Section of the ACECQA website

Rehearsal Evacuation Drill (every three (3) months)

(14) Yarm Gwanga will improve each child's sense of security, predictability and safety by conducting rehearsal evacuation drills every three months.  Staff members, volunteers and children present at the Service on the day of the rehearsal will all participate in the drill.

(15) Emergency evacuation drills will take place at different times of the day and week to ensure all children and staff members are provided with an opportunity to participate in them.

(16) Rehearsal evacuation drills will be documented and evaluated in collaboration with the UNE Fire Officer, and documented using the UNE Compliance System Register.

Contacting Emergency Services

(17)  The Yarm Gwanga fixed line service phone should be used to contact response and support agencies (fire, police, ambulance, UNE Safety, Security and Information, etc.) in the event of any emergency.  Should more than one phone be required, or in the event that the Yarm Gwanga fixed line service phone be unavailable, staff are to access emergency services using one of the following mobile services:

  1. a mobile phone located at the service
  2. Director Yarm Gwanga's mobile
  3. OOSH bus mobile (if appropriate)
  4. personal mobile phones

(18) Call 000 in the event of an emergency.  Stay calm and call from a safe place.  Respond to all questions clearly, providing details of the emergency.  Do not end the call until the operator advises that it is appropriate to do so. Yarm Gwanga service locations are as follows:

  1. Yarm Gwanga Childcare Centre:  End of Arts Road, University of New England.  Nearest intersection is Arts Road and Clarks Road.
  2. Yarm Gwanga Vacation Care:  Wright Centre, University of New England.  Nearest intersection is Abbott Road and Meredith Road.

(19) Call UNE Safety, Security and Information (X 2099) to provide assistance until emergency services arrive.

Lockdown Procedure

(20) In the event of a lockdown the following script may be used by the staff member who is the Nominated Supervisor, to inform all persons within the Service:  "This is a lockdown, and not a fire drill.  Everyone must move to designated lockdown areas immediately, and await further instructions."

(21) The Nominated Supervisor must carry a mobile phone and the Service's sign-in sheet with them to the designated lockdown area.

(22) All Educators must ensure children are moved to designated and/or safe and secure lockdown areas.  Educators will make every effort to close and secure doors and windows and turn off all lights (without compromising the safety of themselves or others in the service).

(23) The person in charge will contact UNE Safety, Security and Information (X 2099) to advise of the lockdown and seek further instructions.

(24) Educators will check the sign-in sheets to ensure all children attending the service on the day, are accounted for.  The Nominated Supervisor will be advised of any absences as soon as it is safe to do so.

(25) All Educators, children and anyone else present will remain in lockdown until the "All Clear" signal is given.  The responsible person in charge will indicate the "All Clear" using the following script:  "The lockdown has now ended.  You are safe to leave the lockdown area".

Emergency Evacuation Plans:  Environmental Spill (eg. gas leak, chemical spill)

(26) Staff are to adhere to the following instructions in the event of an environmental spill in the area:

  1. move all children and other staff into the building;
  2. close all external doors and windows;
  3. room educators to place wet towels and cloths around doors and window areas;
  4. turn off all air conditioning units; and
  5. Nominated Supervisor to contact UNE Safety, Security and Information (X 2099) and action local UNE Emergency Management Plan.  Contact the Fire Brigade by phoning 0 000

(27) Nominated Supervisor in collaboration with UNE Safety, Security and Information, will decide when to evacuate the building.  The decision will be based on:

  1. nature of the spillage/leak (whether it is flammable or toxic);
  2. quantity of the spillage/leak;
  3. wind direction;
  4. land contours (whether the spill is likely to run into the building and if so, the consequential impact).

(28) Once the decision to evacuate has been made between the Nominated Supervisor and UNE Safety, Security and Information, the Nominated Supervisor will take the following steps:

  1. notify Emergency Services of the decision to leave;
  2. notify UNE Safety and Security of the decision to leave;
  3. room educators are to collect the following items:
    1. portable first aid kits
    2. torches
    3. attendance roll books, and
    4. emergency back pack;
  4. evacuate children and staff to secure Assembly Area(s) using the safest emergency exit route.

(29) The following steps are to be taken when children and staff arrive at the designated assembly area:

  1. primary Educators check attendance roll to account for all children attending the service on the day;
  2. primary educators are to monitor all children, with particular attention to those who are known to suffer from asthma;
  3. Nominated Supervisor is to remain in regular contact with UNE Safety and Security as well as Emergency Services.

(30) All staff are to follow directions provided by Emergency Services and UNE Safety, Security and Information.

(31) Primary Educators will call families as soon as possible, to -

  1. advise them of the evacuation, and
  2. providing it is safe to do so, request families attend the service to collect their children.

(32) Should a child/staff member/visitor be exposed to the environmental spill, Educators will:

  1. administer first aid in consultation with staff at the Poisons Information Line (phone 13 1126); and
  2. call an ambulance (000) if required.

Fire on Premises

(33) Fire alarms will be activated in response to smoke detectors on the premises. The alarm will be the signal that all staff, children and visitors must evacuate the premises.

(34) If a person discovers a fire before the alarm has sounded, they must manually raise the alarm by pushing the alarm button on the fire panel at the front of the building.

(35) Children and staff are to be evacuated to the secure Assembly Area(s) in accordance with the local Emergency Action Plan, using the safest emergency exit route.

(36) The following roles and responsibilities are allocated to educators and staff during evacuation:

  1. Fire Warden (Nominated Supervisor) will be required to:
    1. ensure the building is empty;
    2. ensure no one enters the building; and
    3. wait at the front of the building for UNE Safety and Security as well as Emergency Services.

(37) Primary Educators will be required to:

  1. collect Emergency Back Pack (stored in the Yarm Gwanga Office);
  2. collect Emergency Pack for Babies (stored under Evacuation Cot);
  3. collect Portable First Aid Kits;
  4. collect the Yarm Gwanga mobile phone;
  5. ensure each Warden has a Warden’s safety vest on (one for each room);
  6. close all doors and windows; and
  7. turn off electrical power.

(38) Any additional staff (eg. cook, administrative staff) are to assist in the 0-2 year room, where babies can be placed in the Emergency Evacuation Cot and wheeled to the assembly area.

(39) The following steps are to be taken when children and staff arrive at the designated assembly area:

  1. primary Educators check attendance roll to account for all children attending the service on the day;
  2. primary Educators are to monitor all children, with particular attention to those who are known to suffer from asthma;
  3. Nominated Supervisor is to remain in regular contact with UNE Safety, Security and Information as well as Emergency Services.

(40) All staff are to follow directions provided by Emergency Services and UNE School of Education.

(41) Primary Educators will call families as soon as possible to:

  1. advise them of the evacuation; and
  2. providing it is safe to do so, request families attend the service to collect their children.

(42) No Educators or other staff are to re-enter the building until Emergency Personnel advise it is safe to do so.

(43) A Critical Incident Report is to be completed within 24 hours of the emergency.

Bush Fire

(44) The following steps are to be undertaken if Educators or other staff become aware of a bush fire in the area:

  1. move all children and educators inside the building.
  2. close all doors and windows and room educators to place wet towels and cloths around doors and window areas;
  3. one educator to hose down building, shade cloths and yard;
  4. turn off air conditioning units; and
  5. administrative staff are to listen to local radio broadcasts (and continue to do so throughout any evacuation that may take place), to monitor the status of the bush fire emergency.

(45) Nominated Supervisor to contact UNE Safety, Security and Information and follow their directions.

(46) Primary Educators are to fulfill the following responsibilities:

  1. ensure children have plenty of drinking water available;
  2. monitor children all children, especially those who suffer from asthma;
  3. prepare for possible evacuation by dressing children in protective long-sleeved clothing and hats, when possible; and
  4. prepare a wet face washer for each child, educator and other staff to cover their mouth and nose if possible.

(47) One Educator is to hose down the building, shade cloths and yard.

(48) Room Educators are to collect the following items:

  1. portable first aid kits;
  2. torches;
  3. children attendance roll books; and
  4. emergency back pack.

(49) Nominated Supervisor and Educators in collaboration with UNE Safety, Security and Information and Emergency Services, decide when to evacuate.  Once the decision is made to evacuate:

  1. Educators and other staff are required to turn off all electrical power to the building if possible, before leaving;
  2. UNE Safety, Security and Information will identify and advise staff of a safe assembly point for the evacuation.  Transport to the assembly point will be provided by UNE, if required;
  3. children will travel on the bus with their Primary Educators where possible; and
  4. any additional staff (including cooks, administrative staff, Director, Nominated Supervisor) are to assist with children in the 0-2 year room.

(50) The following steps are to be taken when staff and children arrive at the assembly area:

  1. primary Educators check attendance roll to account for all children attending the service on the day;
  2. Nominated Supervisor is to check staff attendance sheet; and
  3. Educators are to keep children calm and occupied.

(51) Nominated Supervisor is to remain in regular contact with UNE Safety, Security and Information as well as Emergency Services.

(52) Primary Educators will call families as soon as possible, to -

  1. advise them of the evacuation, and
  2. providing it is safe to do so, request families attend the service to collect their children.

(53)  A Critical Incident Report to be completed within 24 hours of the emergency, and the Approved Provider to be notified as soon as possible.

Severe Storm

Be Prepared

(54) Maintain trees around the Service and ensure that there are no dangerous trees overhanging.

(55) Keep in stock:

  1. portable radio (located in the administrative office);
  2. torch with fresh batteries (located in each room and in emergency backpack);
  3. masking tape (to X windows in case of shattering); and
  4. garbage bags for emergency rain protection.

(56) If Educators become aware of an approaching storm:

  1. pack away outdoor equipment to reduce flying objects that may hit the centre;
  2. move all children and educators indoors;
  3. close and lock all doors and windows; and
  4. ensure administrative staff listen to radio broadcasts to warn of imminent danger;

(57) Nominated Supervisor to contact UNE Safety, Security and Information to discuss ‘Local Emergency Management Plan’.

(58) Room Educators are to undertake the following actions:

  1. tape (cross style X) across large windows with masking tape;
  2. prepare tables and foam mats in case they are needed for shelter; and
  3. disconnect all electrical equipment.

(59) Room Educators are to collect:

  1. portable First Aid Kits;
  2. torches;
  3. children’s Attendance Roll books; and
  4. Emergency Back Pack.

When storm strikes

(60) All Educators and children to remain indoors and shelter clear of windows. The centre of the building would offer most protection.

(61) Use tables and foam mats to shelter under if necessary.

(62) Stay calm and comfort any children who are distressed.  Sing songs and finger plays.

(63) Do not use phones during storms.  

(64) If possible, Nominated Supervisor to remain in contact with UNE Safety and Security.

(65) All Educators are to follow the directions of Emergency Services and University.

(66) Following the storm, if the service phone is not working, educators will access phone lines by using the Director’s Mobile.

Flood

(67) If water begins to enter the building:

  1. move all children and educators inside the building;
  2. close all doors and windows;
  3. Nominated Supervisor/Responsible Person to contact UNE Safety, Security and Information to discuss the Emergency Management Plan;
  4. Primary Educators to move children to a ‘Dry Zone’ within the building, if possible;
  5. Educators to place towels in plastic bags and pack around doors and windows;
  6. Room Educators to collect:
    1. portable First Aid Kits
    2. torches
    3. children’s Attendance Roll books, and
    4. Emergency Back Pack;
  7. Nominated Supervisor/Responsible Person to prepare for possible evacuation by collecting:
    1. Attendance Sheets for educators and children;
    2. contact details for educators and children; and
    3. asthma medication plans.

Snake, Restricted Dog Breed or Other Potentially Dangerous Animal

(68) Nominated Supervisor/Responsible Person to prepare to contact UNE Safety, Security and Information to determine the appropriate contact for the removal or relocation of the animal. Lockdown procedures may apply. Refer to Emergency Management Guideline for more information.

Emergency Response Plan – Hostage Situation

(69) If a person threatens or is aggressive towards Educators or children:

  1. Educators should remain calm;
  2. Educators should follow the directions of the person;
  3. Educators should remove children from the area immediately, (if possible);
  4. one Educator should notify the other educators in the service of the incident immediately (if possible);
  5. the Nominated Supervisor is to contact UNE Safety, Security and Information and the Police to advise them of the situation (if possible);
  6. all children and Educators not directly involved in the incident should evacuate the service immediately (if possible), using the emergency exit furthest from the incident to the Assembly Area (see emergency evacuation plan).
  7. Room Educators to collect (if possible and if time permits):
    1. portable First Aid Kits
    2. torches
    3. Children’s Attendance Roll Books
    4. Emergency Back Pack
  8. Any additional staff including Cooks, Administration Staff, Manager and Nominated Supervisor, are to assist the 0-2 year room.

At the Assembly Area

(70) Nominated Supervisor to check that the designated assembly area is suitable for the situation unfolding at the service (ie. is it far enough away from the service if guns or explosives are involved with the situation?).

(71) Staff are to undertake the following responsibilities at the Assembly area:

  1. Nominated Supervisor is to remain in contact with UNE Safety, Security and Information/Police at all times;
  2. all Educators and other staff are to follow the directions of Police and UNE Safety, Security and Information;
  3. Primary Educators check Attendance Sheets;
  4. Educators keep children calm and occupied; and
  5. Primary Educators begin to contact families and inform them of the evacuation and request they attend to collect their children when UNE Safety, Security and Information and/or the Police advise that it is safe to do so.

Following the Incident

(72) A Critical Incident Report to be completed within 24 hours of the incident.

(73) The Approved Provider is to be notified as soon as possible.

(74) Counselling is to be offered to all children, parents, educators and other staff.

Unauthorised Collection of Children

(75) If an unauthorised person arrives to collect a child, Educators should explain:

  1. our policy on the ‘Collection of Children’;
  2. our legal obligation to follow court orders; and
  3. our duty of care to protect all children in our care.

(76) Educators should remove all other children from the area immediately, if possible.

(77) One Educator should notify other Educators in the service of the incident immediately, if possible.

(78) Educators should refer the unauthorised person to the Nominated Supervisor.

(79) If the person becomes irate or aggressive towards Educators or children, and Educators believe that the child, or other children (or they, themselves) are in danger, they are to release the child to the unauthorised person.

(80) Nominated Supervisor to contact UNE Safety, Security and Information and/or the Police (dial 000) to advise them of the incident.

(81) If the unauthorised person leaves the service, all children and Educators are to remain inside with doors and windows locked until the Police arrive.

(82) If the unauthorised person does not leave the Service and continues to act in an aggressive or threatening manner, all children and educators not directly involved in the incident should evacuate the service immediately, using the emergency exist furthest from the incident (see Emergency Evacuation Plan in each room) to the Assembly Area.

(83) Room Educators are to collect:

  1. Portable First Aid Kits;
  2. torches
  3. Children’s Attendance Roll Books; and
  4. Emergency Back Pack.

At the Assembly Area

(84) Staff are to undertake the following responsibilities at the Assembly area:

  1. Nominated Supervisor is to remain in contact with UNE Safety, Security and Information/Police at all times;
  2. all Educators and other staff are to follow the directions of Police and UNE Safety, Security and Information;
  3. Primary Educators check Attendance Sheets;
  4. Educators keep children calm and occupied; and
  5. Primary Educators begin to contact families and inform them of the evacuation and request they attend to collect their children when UNE Safety, Security and Information and/or the Police advise that it is safe to do so.

Unauthorised Person on Premises

Strategies to decrease the potential for an unauthorised person to enter the premises

(85) The safety and security of all children, families, educators and other staff at the service is of the upmost importance.  In the event of an intruder entering the premises, the following strategies will be applied to ensure the safety and security of all at the Service:

  1. all children will be adequately supervised by educators at all times;
  2. all Educators and other staff must be signed in and out every day;
  3. a sign will be displayed at the entrance to the Service, requesting all visitors to sign in/out of the Service. The sign must also direct visitors to report to Administration immediately upon arrival;
  4. Parents are only able to enter the building by using an individual confidential access code or by buzzing the outside intercom and then identifying themselves before being allowed to enter. Educators and other staff must not allow unidentified persons into the building;
  5. Educators and other staff must immediately question all unknown adults and persons as to the purpose of their visit;
  6. persons unable to provide a reasonable purpose for their visit will be requested to leave immediately;
  7. parents must be reminded not to allow other people into the Service at the same time they are entering; and
  8. the Nominated Supervisor must advise UNE Safety, Security and Information immediately upon the cancellation of a child’s enrolment at the service. This will ensure access codes are promptly deleted and educators are also aware not to ‘buzz in’ ex families.

In the event of an unauthorised person on the premises

(86) An Aducator/staff member is to escort the unauthorised person(s) from the premises immediately.

(87) A second Educator/staff member to advise other staff of the incident.

(88) If the unauthorised person(s) refuses to leave the service or becomes violent, the Nominated Supervisor (or second-in-charge in his/her absence) is to immediately contact UNE Safety, Security and Information and/or the Police (dial 000) and advise that there is a critical incident taking place.

(89) The second-in-charge (or next most senior educator) is to collect a mobile phone and/or hands-free phone and move all children, Educators and other staff into a playroom (or elsewhere, to an area of the premises furthest away from the intruder) which will become the Assembly Area in this situation.

At the Assembly Area

(90) Staff are to undertake the following responsibilities at the Assembly area:

  1. Nominated Supervisor is to remain in contact with UNE Safety, Security and Information/Police at all times via the mobile phone/hands free device;
  2. all Educators and other staff are to follow the directions of Police and UNE Safety, Security and Information;
  3. Primary Educators check Attendance Sheets; and
  4. Educators keep children calm and occupied.

Following the Incident

(91) After the unauthorised person has been removed or left of their own volition, the following actions are to take place:

  1. the Nominated Supervisor must immediately contact the Approved Provider;
  2. all parents of children present must be advised of the incident as soon as possible;
  3. counselling is to be offered to all children, parents, educators and other staff; and
  4. a Critical Incident Report must be completed within 24 hours or the occurrence.

Staff Safety and Security

(92) No Educators or other staff are to remain on the premises outside licensing/operational hours without prior approval from the Nominated Supervisor or Manager.

(93) If Educators or other staff are on the premises outside these times (due to meetings, training sessions, etc.) and feel concerned about their security or safety, then they must contact UNE Safety, Security and Information/ and or Police.

(94) Educators and other staff must always walk to their cars together upon leaving the service.

Authority and Compliance

(95) The Guideline Administrator, Director UNE Life, makes these Guidelines.

(96) UNE Representatives and Students must observe these Guidelines in relation to University matters.

(97) These Guidelines operate as and from the Effective Date.

(98) Previous Guidelines relating to Yarm Gwanga Emergency and Evacuations are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Guideline.

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Section 4 - Definitions

For the purposed of this Guideline the following definitions apply:

(99) Evacuation:  An evacuation of the service may be required in the event of a fire, bush fire, environment spill, severe storm, bomb scare, earthquake, siege, flood etc.

(100) Lockdown:  A lockdown at the service aims to ensure the safety of all children, educators, families and other visitors to the service in the event of a threat. 

(101) Visitor includes, but is not limited to, students on practical placements, volunteers, community members and persons conducting inspections/audits.

(102) Yarm Gwanga:  This refers to both the Yarm Gwanga Preschool and Early Education Centre as well as Yarm Gwanga Vacation Care.