Next week, we’ll host a Parent Gathering devoted to Safety at High Meadow, details below. In advance, we’d like to bring you up to date on some of the ways we work to keep our students — your children — safe.

We aim for all our staff members to be prepared to respond to any scenario. We regularly run drills focused on threat, fire, and weather. Informed by the National Association of School Psychiatrists and other resources, we always explain these procedures to students in age-appropriate ways and prioritize emotional well-being.

All staff members are trained in CPR and First Aid, and we have a nurse on campus full-time. As Bill Brantmeyer, HMS Health and Safety Officer, pointed out at a full-staff safety meeting earlier this month, while we absolutely must be prepared for “high impact, low probability” events, our skill in responding to higher probably events like accidental injuries is just as vital.

In recent years, we have used grant funding from New York State to install a campus-wide intercom system, including radios that are monitored at all times. We use the intercom to make non-emergency announcements, as well, helping students feel accustomed to the experience.

Bill maintains close relationships with all levels of emergency management in Ulster county, including the NY State Police, Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, Rosendale Police Department, Ulster 911 Center, Mobile Life Services, and Marbletown First Aid Squad. He attends regular district superintendents meetings at the Ulster County Law Enforcement Training Center, and hosts deputies on campus to review safety infrastructure and protocols.

In the event of even a minor disturbance in the the areas surrounding High Meadow, officers are automatically dispatched to monitor our school. We also have an off-site shelter at the Marbletown Town Hall, should we need to evacuate the campus entirely.

Again, we aim to provide the tools and training so that staff not only know how to execute a drill, but feel confident in their ability to think and act under unpredictable circumstances. Of course, we hope all our planning is for naught!

Finally, as Bill likes to say, our first line of defense is our relationships, and we think we’re very strong in this regard! Thank you for all you do to help us maintain the open, welcoming environment that makes High Meadow the remarkable community that it is.

About our Health and Safety Coordinator

Bill Brantmeyer has been a certified Firefighter/Paramedic since 2002, during which time he has served as a flight medic, tactical medic, and field supervisor. He has held certifications in Operations Level Hazmats and in advanced K9 emergency medicine in support of Law Enforcement K9 units.

Bill is credentialed through the American Health and Safety Institute to teach: Advanced Cardiac Life Support; Pediatric Advanced Life Support; Emergency Medical Response; Advanced First Aid; BLS; Basic First Aid; CPR/AED; Wilderness First Aid; Bloodborne Pathogens; Emergency Oxygen Admin; Child/Babysitting Safety, and Pediatrics.

Bill is currently enrolled at American Public University and is working to complete a B.S. in Emergency and Crisis Management by the end of the summer.