Wisconsin first to use regional teams to respond to school critical incidents

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 3:16 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin will become the first state to implement regionally-based teams trained to respond to critical incidents at schools, the Wisconsin Department of Justice announced.

The Office of School Safety is training twelve Critical Incident Response Teams that will provide support and minimize psychological impact if a critical incident occurs at all K-12, public, private, charter and tribal schools in Wisconsin.

Each team is made up of volunteers from a variety of disciplines, including law enforcement, school administrators, psychologists and school safety experts.

These incidents are “sudden and unexpected” the OSS explained, and can cause major trauma within a school community. Attorney General Josh Kaul stated that his agency is determined to take a “comprehensive approach to school safety.”

“By creating regional Critical Incident Response Teams for schools across Wisconsin, our Office of School Safety and the partners participating in this program will ensure that resources and support are available if a critical incident takes place at any Wisconsin school,” Kaul said.

Each member of the team attends one of four training sessions held around the state, which will teach them the best practices to respond to a critical incident.

The DOJ listed examples of critical incidents, including acts of violence, natural disasters and serious injuries to students or staff. They may be large-scale incidents or affect a smaller group of people.

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