LPS official wins FEMA award

LPS official wins FEMA award
A Lawton Public Schools official has been given an award from FEMA for her leadership in preparing the district for active shooter incidents. (Source: KSWO)

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - A Lawton Public Schools official has been given an award from FEMA for her leadership in preparing the district for active shooter incidents.

FEMA Region Six, which includes the states of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico, announced that LPS Executive Director of Communications Lynn Cordes was the winner of the 2020 Whole Community Preparedness Award for her work organizing and implementing Operation Lawton F.I.R.S.T. (Field Incident Response and Safety Team).

Operation Lawton F.I.R.S.T. was a community wide active shooter exercise designed to test plans of the school district along with local and state emergency response organizations. The plan was set to involve a full-scale exercise in April and June, but has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is ironic that COVID-19 happened in the middle of all our planning,” Cordes said. “We spent the majority of the school year preparing for a crisis—this is everything we trained for. Our administrators even completed crisis training prior to the pandemic, and it helped us to facilitate better communication with our local and state partners as well as our staff, students and families. We are getting to utilize every aspect of our training.”

Cordes worked with Fort Sill Emergency Manager Steve Gluck to organize training and exercises. Both say the training will continue in the future.

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