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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mock crash at GHS planned for emergency drill

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

On Thursday, the first steps were taken to set up a mock disaster drill for law enforcement and emergency aid agencies in Putnam County.

Representatives with Operation Life agreed on Thursday to contact officials with the Greencastle Community School Corp. to finalize details for the drill, tentatively set for April.

For three months, law enforcement and emergency aid officials discussed the possibility of a motor vehicle crash disaster drill which would take place in the parking lot at Greencastle High School.

"Even though it's been done, this is something new at Greencastle," Operation Life representative Jenny Lien said at the Putnam County Safe School Meeting Thursday.

The drill would involve a motor vehicle crash fatality that law enforcement and emergency aid officials would respond to. Lien approached the safe school committee two months ago with the proposal, expressing a desire to make sure that all emergency aid responders can become involved in such a drill to better response time.

Although no GCSC official was at Thursday's meeting, Operation Life representatives said they would contact the school to make concrete plans regarding the drill.

"I think we need to put these plans in action," Putnam County Planner Kim Hyten said.

At Thursday's meeting, current South Putnam High School Assistant Principal Dan Bain, who is the former Cloverdale Community School Corp. safe school representative, said Cloverdale conducted a similar drill last year.

"We had some snafus, but it was a good thing for us to do," Bain said.

On Thursday, Hyten stressed the importance of letting everyone know that plans only called for a drill, specifically pointing out to the number of students who use cell phones these days and how information could get out of hand.

He said another mock drill, using a bomb threat as an example, could add further fuel to the fire. Students could be using cell phones in inappropriate places during the drill.

"You've got to keep kids safe and you've got to keep parents safe," Hyten said. "It's going to be chaotic."

North Putnam High School Assistant Principal Terry Tippin also attended Thursday's meeting. He said North Putnam conducted a motor vehicle crash drill last year to stress the importance of safety during prom.

He said a convocation on drunk driving followed the drill.

"That was just a real powerful hour-and-a-half," Tippin said.

In October, Greencastle Middle School Principal and Safe School Chairman Shawn Gobert suggested April 13 as a target date for the proposed disaster drill, because it was a half-day for students.

At Thursday's meeting, officials said no date was set in concrete, but the drill could take place in April.

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