Agreement renewed for use of school facilities for emergency shelters

Print Article

With the threat of the Gibraltar Ridge fire looming nearby in Eureka, the Whitefish School District and the Red Cross have renewed an agreement to use school facilities as an emergency shelter.

The school district and the Red Cross drew up the agreement in 2015 when the Reynolds Creek Fire, among others in Glacier National Park, caused some pre-evacuation notices and had the Red Cross looking for options in case the situation worsened.

The Whitefish School Board approved the contract unanimously Aug. 17.

“I think it’s fairly common for school districts to have these agreements with Red Cross,” Superintendent Heather Davis Schmidt said. “Because of the Gibraltar Ridge fire in Eureka the Red Cross has contacted us again and asked for further assistance and asked us to up our agreement in case that should be necessary. Looking at how that fire is going right now, it may also be unnecessary. Things have been improving.”

The Gibraltar Ridge fire east of Eureka started Aug. 7 and has burned about 5,000 acres. Wildfires in western Montana continue to grow.

The agreement allows the district to permit the Red Cross to occupy school facilities as a service center, for the storage of supplies, for the parking of vehicles and as a disaster shelter in the case of an emergency.

A Red Cross facility manager will be appointed to oversee activities at the school facilities, while the school district will appoint its own coordinator to work alongside the Red Cross.

The district will not charge a fee for the use of school facilities. The Red Cross will reimburse for damage of property, custodial and food service costs, and utility costs, including water, gas, electricity and waste disposal.

Davis Schmidt said the only true cost to the district would be if an emergency overlapped with classes. However, she said the district has an obligation to open its doors to whoever is in need.

“There would be a significant opportunity cost if the use of the facilities conflicted with the start of school or if school was in session,” she said. “Regardless, I think as a school system, we have a responsibility to help out our neighbors in need.”

“We are one organization within the Whitefish community, and it’s true of all communities, the schools are often those facilities that can provide for those kinds of needs,” she added. “It’s nice to be able to think about how we support each other in an emergency or crisis.”

Print Article

Read More

Man pleads not guilty to killing father

July 20, 2018 at 10:51 am | Whitefish Pilot The Whitefish man accused of killing his father in a July 9 dispute pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon in Flathead County District Court in front of Judge Dan Wilson. Tanner Lehnen Hosek, 26, rem...

Comments

Read More

Fire danger moves to high in Flathead

July 20, 2018 at 11:15 am | Whitefish Pilot Interagency Wildland Fire Managers have made the decision to raise the fire danger for the Flathead to “high.” Several factors played into the decision, according to a release from the Montana Depar...

Comments

Read More

Young musicians get chance to tune up with the masters

July 19, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Whitefish Pilot Camp Festival Amadeus will once again nurture the musical education of young musicians in the Flathead Valley next month. The camp, established in 2008 by Artistic Director Jenanne Solberg, will be...

Comments

Read More

Creating music driving force for band as it releases album

July 18, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Whitefish Pilot In a few weeks their first CD will be out, their album is already downloadable and later this month they’ll be the opening act for the Montana Music Event in Whitefish. Gimmic was formed roughly a ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 862-3505
312 E. Second Street
Whitefish, MT 59937

©2018 Whitefish Pilot Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X