Lincoln Public Schools holds safety training for athletic events

LPS Athletics, alongside law enforcement and local emergency management, are working on how to keep everyone safe at events across the district.
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 6:16 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -For every event the Lincoln Public School District holds, there’s an emergency plan in place.

“Are we going to keep people safe, that’s the big thing everyone wants to be sure of,” said Kathi Wieskamp, LPS Director of Athletics and Activities.

It’s why district administrators and law enforcement are spending a few days this week preparing for the worst with the National Center for Sports Spectator Safety and Security organization, or NCS4.

“Interscholastic sports is an important part of what we do and when we have events, we have significant crowds,” said Joey Sturm, NCS4. “We face all kinds of natural hazards and intentional acts from humans and technological problems that may just be accidents. We need to think about these things and try and prevent them.”

The training has been two years in the making postponed by the pandemic. Those involved said it’s even more relevant now, with the number of school shootings seen already this year.

“It just reinforces we have to be deliberate in regard to planning,” Wieskamp said. “We have to be on alert and aware that anything could happen at any time and we can’t get complacent.”

The training will cover things like active shooters, but also weather situations which are a big factor in planning events in Nebraska.

“For example a heat-related event, when humidity is high, by adding misting tents, selling water at reduced rates, those kinds of things,” Sturm said.

They said what this training can buy them is time and expertise, should the worst ever happen.

“We have to get it right 100% of the time,” Sturm said.

After this training, school districts from the surrounding area will be invited to attend a second session. The goal is to get as many schools that the district competes with in athletics trained up.

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