Drill tests school emergency plans

Published 10:51 pm Saturday, June 27, 2009

GETAWAY — Four shooters entered Collins Career Center Saturday, some armed not only with guns but with pipe bombs. They were dead or handcuffed by midday, but not before a shower of gunfire in one back hallway left several victims killed or wounded.

Fortunately, the bombs were fake and the shooters were as well. Their presence and the accompanying melee was actually part of a multi-agency drill meant to test the readiness of emergency services personnel as well as school plans.

Each school in Lawrence County is required to have a preparedness plan just in case what used to be unthinkable really happens.

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The drill included both the career center and Rock Hill schools as well as the law enforcement agencies, fire departments, Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Services (SEOEMS), the 911 dispatch center and the county’s emergency management agency. More than 160 people took part.

“This brings everyone together,” Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Boster said. “It is better preparedness for everyone.”

The four shooters were one of two scenarios practiced during the drill.

The other involved a hostage crisis involving a school employee and an angry spouse.

Lawrence Township firefighter Dave Webb said he was volunteered to take part at the last minute, but said the drill good experience.

“It gives you an inside look at what could happen,” he said.