For Hillsborough High School Freshman Sam Romano, Hurricane Sandy was not the first time he thought about school emergency management and preparedness. Romano has been working on preparing Hillsborough Middle School and its students for an emergency for a year and a half as his Eagle Scout project.
On Nov. 20, Romano presented Dr. Joseph Trybulski, principal of Hillsborough Middle School, with eight emergency kit bins and three public service videos for use by middle school-aged students. Both the kits and the videos were created by Romano to help prepare the students and staff for drills that are conducted throughout the year as well as any emergencies that may arise.
Also on hand to accept Romano’s work as well as congratulate him on a job well done were Scott Rocco, Hillsborough Township Public Schools’ Assistant Superintendent of Personnel; David Gwin, Chief of Hillsborough Township Rescue Squad; as well as Rebecca McManus, Marilyn Leone, Laura Gainsborg, and Shelley Rubin, all of whom are members of the middle school's Community Emergency Response Team. Serving as a backdrop to the ceremony was a CERT utility trailer that was received via a grant from New Jersey State Citizen Corps Council and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management in June 2012.
Romano’s emergency kits will be kept in strategic locations throughout the middle school for students and staff to use in an emergency situation. Contained in the kits are such items as small emergency kits, bandages, drinking water, antibacterial gel, and flashlights.
The public service videos, for use by both Hillsborough Middle and Auten Road School, focus on a fire drill, a lockdown drill, and a school evacuation drill. These three drills must be conducted by each school throughout the year. In the videos, Romano interviews Dr. Trybulski about each drill and discusses different scenarios that a student may find themself in prior to or during a drill. Each video then goes on to a demonstration and the expectations of the students during the drill. The videos will be played for students at the Middle School as well as those at Auten Road School.
Romano looks to finish his Eagle Scout project in the first quarter of 2013.
“Sam’s Eagle Scout project is in-line with the middle school and district expectations of preparing our schools to be able to react and provide assistance in the event of any emergency situation,” said Dr. Trybulski. “To be provided with these well thought out and informative tools and resources by one of our former students is truly an honor.”