It all started as innocent fun. A bunch of young people enjoying a concert, when out of nowhere an enormous glow could be seen. A fire broke loose, filling all of the concertgoers lungs with thick black smoke. At least that’s what the Piedmont College “Disaster Drill” is recreating.
The disaster drill is a yearly event that takes place at Piedmont College that is designed to prepare the nursing students for anything or, said by Associate Dean of Nursing Maria Fisk, “… a way to really get the nurses in that headspace and expose them to real life crises.” Fisk said the event takes a lot of planning. “There is months of preparation, and so many meeting with agencies such as the fire and police departments. Then we run it by the president and he has the ultimate say,” she said.
As the drill was being prepared, many faculty members wanted to know about the possible stress that the nurses could’ve been feeling that day. Senior nursing student Rachel Henderson said “I’m ready to get out there and save some lives. The only stressful thing is that we go in not knowing what kind of injuries we’ll face. I just hope I do my fair part and don’t freeze.”
Kasey Crunkleton, a junior nursing student who played a victim in the demonstration, about the same topic. She said “I just really want to make it look real… we’re going to have an actual helicopter, though no one will be airlifted. We’ll also have smoke, red lighting and a drone to catch all the action,” she said with a grin.
Associate Professor of Nursing Tabatha Anderson was on the scene grading nursing students’ work. “The students had to go to FEMA training during the springtime in Alabama. They worked very hard. The main thing I’m ready to see from them is if they can handle the chaos a real life event such as this can bring.”