Coastal Pines Technical College Hosts Emergency Preparedness Drill
Lieutenant Mike Lane (right) with the Jesup Police Department presented emergency preparedness information to a number of Coastal Pines Technical College (CPTC) faculty and staff prior to an active shooter drill, in which CPTC employees, Jesup Police officers, and other local emergency response personnel participated in a scary scenario, a shooter on campus. Lt. Lane and Officer Justin Evors (left) are shown here demonstrating one of the survival tactics discussed.
Jesup, GA - Coastal Pines Technical College recently hosted an active shooter drill on the Jesup campus in order toevaluate and improve key response processes.Approximately sixty people including faculty, staff and local agency representatives participated. The external agencies participating included the Jesup Police Department, Wayne County Emergency Management, Jesup Fire Department, Wayne County Ambulance, Wayne County E-911, and Air-Evac. The drill, which lasted approximately 45 minutes, focused on how effectively the entities coordinated communication, disaster scene security and access, response resources, and care for disaster victims.
According to the College’s safety coordinator, Andy Brannen, the drill began testing effective response procedures at the moment an observer at Coastal Pines Technical College simulated a call to the Wayne County Public Safety Communication Center (911) to report “man with a gun” on campus. “It is important for any institution to have plans to address emergency situations, stated Brannen. “It's even more important that the plans are communicated, executed, evaluated, and updated, as needed. The simulation included injuries and casualties, requiring the full, coordinated response of college officials, area law enforcement and emergency responders.
"Putting a plan in action during a real-life situation is quite different from sitting around talking about it," said Coastal Pines President Dr. Glenn Deibert. According to Dr. Deibert, Coastal Pines Technical College has two plans that serve to guide staff in maintaining a safe work environment and in handling emergency incidents: (1) Coastal Pines’ Emergency Operations Plan and (2) Coastal Pines’ Business Continuity Plan. According to Brannen, both plans are in place to ensure the health and safety of the college community and any campus guests.
Following the active shooter scenario, CPTC Campus Chief James Mock led an after-action discussion with participants in which agencies evaluated their plans, processes, and procedures in light of the day’s events. He noted that CPTC has other protocols and communication pieces in place that were not demonstrated during the drill, but are ready to use, if needed. Mock also explained that CPTC recently purchased a mass communication system and is in the process of getting it installed. Mock, who coordinated the drill, thanked everyone involved, stating, "The exercise allowed the College and participating agencies to turn their paper plans into action."
Dr. Deibert extended sincere appreciation to all of the participating agencies and to Donna Burns, Campus Safety Coordinator for the Technical College System of Georgia, who attended the drill with local emergency responders. Ms. Burns explained that all of the colleges within the Technical College System of Georgia are required to host an “active shooter” training drill this year. The most dangerous and threatening incident which could occur at any college is an active shooter,” stated Burns.
Chief Mock and Dr. Deibert also thanked CPTC nursing instructor, Betty Manning, and the nursing students who made the simulated event seem lifelike through moulage, the art of applying mock injuries. The students also took part in the exercise. Some escaped, while others were injured or killed. Those participating were Brittany Edwards, Allison Gordon,Tiffany Groover, Ashleigh Ivey, Lynle Latham, Tori Liles, Elizabeth Martinezand Beverly Rooks.
According to Brannen, the Coastal Pines Technical College First Response Team will meet in the coming weeks to assess the College’s emergency response plans and make changes, as needed. A team will also discuss recovery procedures necessary after an incident like the drill scenario. Recovery topics include counseling provisions for students and staff, campus closure, post event communication with the campus community, and press releases.
“In addition,” stated Dr. Deibert, “a video of the drill will be shown at a CPTC Professional Development Day to better equip faculty and staff for a similar situation. The security and safety of the entire CPTC college community is of utmost importance. CPTC strives to ensure a safe working environment by maintaining up-to-date emergency plans and organizing activities essential for improving our preparation for, response to, and recovery from emergency situations.”