Navy first responders may react to emergencies at Coronado school

Partnership may be only kind in nation

CORONADO, Calif. - The U.S. Navy may send first responders to a San Diego-area elementary school in the event of a major emergency.

On Thursday, the Coronado Unified School District hosted its monthly safety walkthrough at Silver Strand Elementary School. It included representatives from the Coronado Police and Fire departments, as well as the Navy. The partnership is believed to be the only one of its kind in the country.

"All for the safety and security of our students," said Assistant District Superintendent Richard Erhard.

Every month for more than a year, the district has reviewed school security plans in conjunction with first responders. Erhard said the Navy would send first responders to Silver Strand Elementary for any manmade or natural emergency. It's believed to be the only school in the nation not on a base with military first responders.

"Our relationship with the Navy and the police department has helped us in terms of taking a more comprehensive look," said Erhard.

Thursday's monthly meeting was not in response to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last month. The district has been working with the Navy for months, especially considering the student population -- 90 percent of which come from Navy families.

The district also considered the success San Diego County's partnership with the military in fighting wildfires.

"That was one of the things that raised our level of concern, in terms of we needed to have a stronger relationship with the Navy," said Erhard. "The students and the staff at this school are extremely safe."


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