|Disaster drill teaches crises response|
|Written by Amanda Hourt | The Bison|
|Monday, 23 April 2012 20:48|
Harding University, in conjunction with Harding Academy, had a disaster drill on Wednesday, April 17, 2012.
The purpose of the drill was to teach college and academy students how to respond, and how various professions respond to a crisis, as well as to work with the local emergency respondents (such as the fire department) in a simulated disaster so that in a real emergency the response would be as helpful as possible.
“It's just a good way for us to practice for a real emergency — one that we hope never happens,” said Craig Russell, the head of public safety.
This year's fake disaster simulated a tornado that hit Harding Academy while classes were in session. It was the 10th staged disaster drill Harding has had.
Harding Academy has not been involved with the disaster drills until this year, according to Russell.
“We're really glad to be able to include Harding Academy in this process,” Russell said. “They're an important part of the Harding family, and of course we're very interested in protecting the kids that are over here at Harding Academy.”
Russell said that although there is only one enacted crisis, public safety and the school administrators consider multiple situations, like what would happen if the school was struck after school hours, or how the school should respond if another part of town was struck.
“Even though we're doing a live scenario here, we actually talk about a lot of different scenarios and work through those at the same time,” Russell said. “It's good to be able to have this practice.”
Dr. Karen Kelley, assistant professor of nursing, said she usually involves her nursing students with the disaster drill as practice for a real emergency.
Kelley said that nursing majors are expected to know how to behave in the midst of an emergency by the time they graduate, and said that she enjoys watching the disaster drill because the students have fun and learn at the same time.
The nursing majors taking Critical Care in the spring semester get to pretend to help injured people, and the students in Community Health get to be victims, according to senior nursing major Rachel Moran. Moran said she portrayed a wounded person with a concussion.
“It's kind of fun,” Moran said. “I mean, in real life it wouldn't be, but for just acting, it's fun. I like to act.”