Disaster on Piedmont Colleges campus? Nope, just the Piedmont College Disaster Drill of 2019 held by the R.H Daniel School of Nursing.
The school and community participated in the annual Disaster Drill this past Wednesday, March 27. The disaster for this year’s drill was a fire that started in the theatre of the Swanson Center at Piedmont College. Junior nursing students as victims of the fire and senior nursing students as the nurses assessed their injuries from the fire. Piedmont’s theatre department helped create a realistic fire setting for the drill. They help do victim’s makeup, added smoke to the scene and added lighting and pyrotechnics to set the scene of a fire disaster.
Fred Bucher, Piedmont Colleges facilities management and safety director was on the scene of the Disaster Drill. He helps maintain campus safety and helped create this year’s event.
“The smoke, the noise, the lights… this is what they’re going to be faced with moving on into their career,” said Bucher.
Senior nursing student Katelyn Durmire was on the scene of the drill and was one of the nurses that got to give handson aid to the victims of the fire.
“The disaster drill is a good practice opportunity for us as nursing students to be prepared for our future jobs coming up in the next year or so,” Said Durmire. “It’s a very realistic setting that we get to be placed in to help victims right away.”
This Disaster Drill also serves as practice for the first responders in the community. Piedmont Police Chief Jim Andrews said.
“he responders involved were the City of Demorest Police, Habersham County Medical Center and EMS, Habersham County Fire Department, Sheriff’s Office, 911/Emergency Management Agency, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, Homeland Security, Habersham Search and Rescue and the District Two Public Health Administration.”
Having all the first responders on the scene is important to show the lifelike resemblance of an actual fire taking place and what everyone’s roles are in helping victims.
An Airlife Georgia helicopter based in Gainesville, Georgia, Homeland Security drone and rescue dogs were also on the scene in order to help simulate a real fire disaster. Having the first responders from all areas of the field is very beneficial for Piedmonts nursing students to get used to working with responders, because one day it won’t be a drill and they will have to work hand in hand with them. Andrews said.
With the help of about 400 students overall, the disaster drill of 2019 involved many.