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Disaster drill at Coastal Alabama Community College
Disaster drill at Coastal Alabama Community College

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A simulated explosion on the campus of Coastal Alabama Community College in Thomasville, involving over 70 emergency medical personnel. The goal of the exercise was to test and improve emergency response and preparedness. Photo by Kaylee PeeblesA simulated explosion on the campus of Coastal Alabama Community College in Thomasville, involving over 70 emergency medical personnel. The goal of the exercise was to test and improve emergency response and preparedness. Photo by Kaylee Peebles

A simulated explosion on the campus of Coastal Alabama Community College in Thomasville, involving over 70 emergency medical personnel. The goal of the exercise was to test and improve emergency response and preparedness. Photo by Kaylee Peebles

THOMASVILLE — Coastal Alabama Community College (CACC) in Thomasville recently conducted a large-scale disaster drill simulating a large-scale explosion. The goal of the drill was to test and improve emergency response coordination and preparedness between multiple agencies and the college community. Over 70 real emergency department staff participated as patients to increase the realism of the scenario.

The exercise included Thomasville Police and Fire Departments, ASAP EMS, Haynes Life Flight, Grove Hill Memorial Hospital (GHMH), Thomasville Regional Medical Center (TRMC), Clarke County EMA and Clarke County E-911.

On the college side, several departments and programs were actively involved, such as the nursing program students and faculty, the simulation program faculty, the police department, the marketing department, facilities and maintenance, and the details and objectives of the exercises.

The disaster exercise simulated an explosion on campus that required immediate and coordinated responses from all agencies involved. The main objectives were to evaluate response times, improve communication channels and enhance cooperation between different emergency services and university staff.

The Thomasville Police and Fire Departments were among the first on scene, demonstrating their quick response and coordination with other agencies. ASAP EMS and Haynes Life Flight provided the necessary medical evacuation and emergency care on scene, ensuring the scenario was challenging and realistic.

Grove Hill Memorial Hospital and Thomasville Regional Medical Center played a critical role in receiving and treating simulated casualties and worked closely with emergency medical services to ensure effective patient care.

Clarke County EMA and Clarke County E-911 handled communications and logistics and demonstrated their ability to effectively handle high-pressure situations.

The students of the college’s nursing program

and teachers gained valuable hands-on experience in emergency medicine, while simulation program teachers created realistic scenarios to test their skills. Police provided security on campus and the marketing team documented the event. Facilities and

Maintenance personnel were critical to setting up and maintaining the well site.

Dr. Tiffany Scarborough, DNP of CACC, praised the collaboration: “This exercise provided our nursing students with an unprecedented opportunity to engage in a high-risk, real-world scenario. It is an invaluable experience that enhances their training and prepares them for real-world emergencies.”

Marcus Gordon, CACC campus director in Thomasville, emphasized the importance of the exercise, saying, “This exercise is critical to our preparation for real-world emergencies. It provides important training to our students and faculty while strengthening our collaboration with local emergency services.”

The exercise not only tested the readiness of all participants, but also promoted team spirit and cooperation. The lessons learned from this exercise will help improve disaster preparedness plans and training programs, ensuring better preparedness for future emergencies.

By conducting such comprehensive exercises, CACC and participating agencies demonstrate their commitment to the safety and well-being of the community and prepare for all eventualities with professionalism and dedication.

By Aurora