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School, emergency response plan tested in morning exercise

Enterprise Attendance Center and emergency personnel combinedefforts Tuesday to practice procedures that would be used in theevent of fire or other emergency the school.

Volunteer firefighters and first responders from Hog Chain,Ruth, East Lincoln and Zetus volunteer fire departments, King’sDaughters Medical Center paramedics, civil defense volunteers andLincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputies simulated an explosion inthe school’s agriculture building.

The simulation included a fire drill at the school to test theevacuation times and escape routes. In an effort to testresponders’ ability to find them, students with simulated injurieswere also part of the drill

Randy Jackson, president of the Hog Chain Volunteer FireDepartment and event coordinator, said he was pleased with theresults.

“It went well,” he said. “We did see where the evacuation routemay need to be modified slightly. School officials said they wouldaddress that.”

The modification is only needed because students followed astandard evacuation plan that lead them past the threatenedbuilding, Jackson said. The lesson was part of the purpose of theexercise.

“It was to teach the students and teachers what to look for andto know that they’re evacuation plan may not always be the way togo, which was the case today,” he said.

Overall, however, the school performed extremely well, Jacksonsaid. The school was evacuated and the 790 students assembled in acommon area safe from the dangers of the exercise in less than sixminutes.

Emergency personnel also performed well, Jackson said.

During the exercise, five students simulated injuries.Firefighters had to locate the students in the dense smoke providedby smoke ejectors and lead them to safety, where the KDMCparamedics treated them for smoke inhalation and minor cuts andbruises.

After the exercise, firefighters conducted safety training forthe students in conjunction with October’s National Fire PreventionMonth. The children were instructed on how to escape a burningbuilding and what to do should they catch fire. The students alsowatched a demonstration of the fire truck’s equipment.