Piedmont College held its annual disaster drill March 27 at Piedmont’s main campus in Demorest.
The event provided a unique opportunity for students campus wide to take part in, including students in nursing, mass communications, and theatre. Each class had different roles in the drill. Nursing seniors would come onto the scene as paramedics and the juniors were the victims of the disaster.
The drill is a community wide event, with all aspects of Habersham County’s officials getting involved. This year some of the departments involved are: the City of Demorest Police, the Demorest Fire department, Habersham County Medical Center, Habersham County Fire Department, Georgia Emergency Management Agency, Homeland Security, Habersham Search and Rescue, and the District Two Public Health Administration.
Fred Bucher, Director of Facilities and Safety for Piedmont College, says “[The drill] is a combination of things we do for this exercise. First, it exercises the first responders. [and] gives the students a place they can practice their skills.”
Bryce Griggs, a junior mass communications major, continues to say the event really captures what the nursing majors will do in their careers dealing with the smoke, chaos, and injuries. Griggs also emphasized the importance of the drill for the county by giving the police department, traffic control, fire department, and all the others getting involved to practice a real world scenario, with homeland security filming it with a drone and the helicopter coming in as the life-line.
Griggs covered the event for the first time. He attended the event in years past, but this year filmed the behind the scenes work that was put into making the event as realistic as possible. Griggs said the event felt, “very realistic and everything was organized… the fog machines that made the building look as if the building was actually being destroyed.”
Griggs felt that the event puts the students in real world scenarios with deadlines and intense situations.
Joe Dennis, Professor of Mass Communications, says, “the disaster drill is a very unique opportunity for Piedmont students to practice their majors, and an event that not many other schools can offer.”