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Richland School District prepares for the winter weather season

Image Title: RSD has plenty of ice melt ready
RSD has plenty of ice melt ready
11/14/2017

Richland School District Facilities & Operations staff are busy preparing for the fast approaching winter season. “Our planning begins well before the bad weather hits,” says department director Jeff Lettau.

Some of the preparation steps are:

  • Researching and purchasing ice melt chemical. RSD purchases ice melt in bulk to save money. The material is stored at strategic locations throughout the District so it is readily available to snow removal staff. The District uses a Calcium Magnesium Acetate product which has a low corrosive effect on concrete and metals. Regular salt, while cheaper, causes damage to infrastructure, adjacent grounds, and equipment.
  • Pre-winter training and safety briefings. Staff discuss snow removal plans, assignments, and new equipment. Safety is a priority focus in all winter preparation efforts. Buddy systems, wind chill and cold stress/hypothermia symptom recognition, and emergency procedures are covered.
  • Inspections and maintenance of equipment. All snow removal and cold weather equipment is inspected and serviced to ensure that it is ready for the coming work.

 

Once the first snowfall is near, these steps are taken:

  • Weather reports are closely monitored. If a snowfall is fairly certain, staff report for an early morning (3:00 am) job assignment and briefing. This briefing includes reminders about safety, the current weather conditions, and specific assignments.
  • Management circulates around the District to: observe how work is progressing; provide live feedback to District upper management about current road conditions and snow removal efforts.
  • As areas are cleared and teams move on to remaining assignments, communications between teams and management ensure that staff are deployed efficiently.
  • Depending on current conditions (is the storm continuing, or are we “winning”?), decisions are made about the ongoing snow removal efforts.