Drill tests response by emergency officials

Published 5:00 am Friday, September 15, 2006

Officials conducting an emergency response drill Thursday atBogue Chitto Attendance Center were pleased with results of theexercise, but said there is always room for improvement.

“It went pretty good, better than I expected it to,” said HogChain Volunteer Fire Department Chief Randy Jordan, who planned theThursday morning exercise.

The drill simulated a fire in an area near the school’stechnology discovery building. Unlike drills that Jordan hasconducted in the past at Enterprise Attendance Center, the BogueChitto drill did not simulate any student injuries.

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“I didn’t want to get it too involved with this right off thebat,” Jordan said.

Bogue Chitto Volunteer Fire Department Chief Sedgie Mercieragreed.

“We wanted this first time to be simple,” Mercier said.

The drill involved the Bogue Chitto and Hog Chain VFDs, CivilDefense, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department and the King’sDaughters Medical Center ambulance service.

“It went very well for the first one that’s been done there inwe don’t know how long,” said Civil Defense Director CliffordGaley. “The school and fire department both did a good job.”

Mercier was also pleased with drill results.

“There’s some things to be worked on, on their (the school’s)side and our side,” Mercier said.

Jordan praised a four-minute evacuation of 580 students, butpointed out a backup evacuation route needed to be developed by theschool. While satisfied with Thursday’s action, Mercier cited aneed for better response time by the fire department and for betterclarification of incident command procedures.

Galey also pointed out a need for better staging, or placement,of fire department equipment at the scene. He said it was not amajor issue, but it could have been.

“That’s the reason we do this: to point out things that we seewe do right and things that need to be changed to make it betterand safer for everybody involved,” Galey said.

Officials said they will plan another drill that will be moreinvolved next year. Jordan said a lot of good information resultedfrom Thursday’s activities.

“I was well-pleased with it for this being the first time inyears that it’s been done,” Jordan said