LOGAN — No worries. It was just a drill. However, it was very important one for everyone involved.
As done each year, the Logan-Magnolia School District administration, staff and students, all grades preschool through 12, participate in an evacuation and reunification drill.
It was held Thursday, September 5 this year and according to District officials, went well.
“The overall experience was a good one,” said Jacob Hedger, a member of the School Crisis Management Team and School counselor for grades 7-12. “The staff all did an excellent job of being prepared and executing their responsibilities.”
The other two main members of the Management Team are Melanie Freund and Jane King, both of who work for Green Hills AEA.
On a beautiful morning, the administration, staff and students made their way to their first evacuation location, a building owned by the company Perfection Learning located just west of the School.
Once everyone was accounted for there, they were all bused to the “reunification site,’ this time it was the Logan Christian Church.
At the Christian Church, the staff practiced how to reunify students with parents.
Volunteers would come to the door and fill out a card and show identification. They then went to wait the west side of the Church to be “reunified” with their volunteer students.
Guests from other schools like Riverside, AHSTW and Woodbine came to observe the drill being run from start to finish.
Larry Oliver, emergency management coordinator for Harrison County, also came to observe and provide some feedback to the School.
Hedger says the School doing these types of drill is a good opportunity because the more practices you have, the better you get at something.
“We learn things every year and try to improve our practices,” he said.
Hedger continued that he can tell from year to year that the staff and students are getting better and learning more about student safety in general and more specifically, why it matters.
Oliver felt the drill went great, adding that the Lo-Ma staff trains regularly and it shows.
“Staff members knew their responsibilities and performed the tasks required,” Oliver said.
Both Hedger and Oliver stressed the importance of performing a drill like this yearly.
Hedger said his hope is that in participating in these drills not only creates a secure educational opportunity for students, but can also allow students to be citizens who promote safety.
Oliver made a similar statement about the need for not only a yearly drill like this one, but also other exercises like it.
“Having drills and exercises on a regular basis enhances the capability of agencies to limit injuries and improve performances that will reunite families quicker and safer,” Oliver said.
Following the drill, which ended late morning, the Crisis Management Team held a debriefing.
As for the students, they were hittin’ the books again as soon as they arrived back at the School.