Breaking News: Fire Drill at Swanson

    Sage Shirley

Laughter and chatter was replaced by smoke and screams wednesday morning. The annual disaster drill took place on Wednesday where students from all over campus took part in a simulated fire.Working with the event was many local departments such as police, EMT and firefighters. Over 100 nursing students from both Athens and demorest campus took the roles of responders and victims while mass communication students acted as the press and theater students aided with making it believable.

 “I’m working on the technical aspect with the fog and making sure it looks like a fire and such,” Said Antonio Atoa, Musical Theatre major, “[We’re] just trying to make it look as realistic as possible with all the lights off and the colors and everything.”  Low visibility and thick fog make it hard to see or tell what things were inside. The drill saw the firefighters coming in to the building first and securing it. They were followed by nursing students rushing in to aid the victims. They would evaluate the victims then bring them outside to color code sections.

“My injury is a bleeding wound from the head,” said Casey Crunkleton, nursing major “[The nursing students] will have to assess me and do their nursing applications seeing what a real-life situation would be like.”They would then be treated according to severity. Patients would be sent off either by van or by helicopter or be declared dead. We had a total of 28 patients declared dead. This event provides practice that these students can’t get anywhere else.

“Students who can experience what they’re going to do in real life before they leave school– where they can safely make mistakes– we know that that really helps their education,” Said Dr. Abbey Dondanville, Associate Dean of Health Sciences. “It’s hard to expose students to emergencies because you can’t really plan for an emergency to happen.” Giving students a realistic environment into what they will have to face is a great way to prepare them for what’s to come in their careers.


Dr. Abbey Dondanville

Casey Crunkleton

Antonio Atoa

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