On Friday, Delaware City Schools and county first responders conducted emergency scenario training after simulating a school bus crash.
The drill was held at the district’s transportation depot, located at 2462 Liberty Road in Delaware, and it featured a school bus turned on its side, filled with Hayes High School students in the AFJROTC program. The students wore makeup and were instructed to appear varying degrees of injured.
First responders arrived at the “scene of the crash” and immediately began to triage and treat the students as well as begin to work with the school district to make sure all students were accounted for.
Sean Miller, director of the Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said the goal of the exercise was to test and refine the county’s procedures in the event of an emergency.
“(The goal is to) test the plans and procedures for Delaware City Schools in accordance with annual State of Ohio drill requirements,” Miller said. “Specifically, the areas of communication, accountability, and reunification were the reviewed objectives.”
DCS Superintendent Heidi Kegley said she was “very pleased” with the drill and how it was conducted.
“It allowed us to see what works well in our Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and what areas we can improve upon,” Kegley said. “Working with multiple agencies allowed our team to collaborate in a real-time scenario to ensure we would be prepared in the event of a serious safety issue or accident involving our schools … We are grateful to our AFJROTC students who participated in the drill as well.”
Miller said Delaware City Schools, Delaware County EMS, Delaware County Emergency Communications, Delaware Fire Department, Delaware Police Department, and the Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management all participated in the exercise.
Kegley said staff from around the district were involved in the scenario training, and they were assigned roles similar to what their roles would likely be in a real incident. Kegley said she thinks the district did well in the drill, which showed the district what it needs to improve on.
“Our team and agencies did so many things well this morning, and we feel really good about the comprehensiveness of our Emergency Operation Plan,” Kegley said. “One thing we identified that we could improve upon was to clearly identify a person on the scene of the accident and ensure they are identified as the main contact to receive information and to share back to the (school) building and district.”
Miller said he believed the drill was a success and a learning experience.
“The drill went very well, and the various objectives for the scenario were met,” he said. “One takeaway was how the names of students involved in such an incident might be shared more expeditiously in the future. However, the collaboration among school officials and responders was excellent.”
Miller said drills and scenario trainings are done throughout the year to help improve the emergency agencies within the county.
“Drills like this, of various scenarios, are conducted multiple times each year in the county,” he said. “Various organizations and agencies, with different objectives, conduct them. These drills help to familiarize participants with procedures and also to identify areas for improvement and existing strengths.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.