Disaster Drill Dilemma

First responders from Demorest and Habersham got their taste of what it would be like for a massive scale fire, and the precise details that come between life and death. 

“We had over a hundred injuries including 28 fatalities,” said Capt. Adams of Habersham County Emergency Services.

Amongst those injured “28 were very critical to moderately critical with patients being transported to Habersham and Northeast Georgia medical center as well as one child flown down to CHOA.” Adams said.

On March 27, Piedmont college held its annual Disaster Drill where showcases the junior and senior nursing student’s abilities to react in real-life situations. This years theme was a fire in the Swanson center. According to reports, the fire started at 10 a.m. with an explosion shortly after that. Roughly around 100 civilians were harmed in this accident with 28 people not making it out alive. Although this was just a drill, it was very realistic for the nursing majors to get practice in if something like this were ever to happen.

“We want to make it a very realistic event so that it will be beneficial for all of the agencies involved,” said Assistant Professor Karen Grelich.

This event was no small operation, from all of the agencies who were involved to the actors and around 400 students and volunteers. There were months of preparation going into this event with planning going back to May of 2018, from getting the details of what the theme of the drill would be to the coordination between all of the separate agencies. All were parts of the planning to make this year’s disaster day drill come into fruition.

“Each year, our campus community and area emergency response personnel come together to create this incredible real-world learning experience for our students,” said Grelich in the official press release for Piedmont College.

“These guys and gals are always wanting a real-world situation they can use their skills and hone their skills. The smoke, the noise, the lights, this is what they are going to be faced with as the Junior and Senior nursing students graduate and go into their careers,” said Fred Bucher Director of Facilities and Safety for Piedmont College.

Whether it be real life or a drill, Piedmont College has given students the ability and knowledge to react in a timely and precise manner through the practice of this drill.

“This place would be swarming with different personnel and different agencies,” Rob Moore said during the press conference following the drill “This is just kind of how it has to work in a disaster.”    

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