First responders will take time next week to review the results of an emergency drill held earlier this week in Stephens County.
The drill took place Monday evening.
Stephens County Hospital Director of Nursing Faye Taylor said that this time, the drill simulated a weather-related emergency.
“Monday night, we had a scenario which involved bad weather with tornadoes touching down in not one, but two locations in our county and city area and this created an event in which our resources had to be split between two sites,” said Taylor. “This is not something we have done before. We had 28 volunteer victims spread out between the two sites that were rescued, triaged, and transported to the hospital.”
The two sites for the drill were the back of the current Stephens County Health Department and the old Stephens County Jail.
Taylor said the drill involved many of the first responder and law enforcement agencies in Toccoa and Stephens County.
Those departments included the Carnes Creek, Shiloh, and Eastanollee Volunteer Fire Departments, the Toccoa Fire Department, the Toccoa Police Department, Stephens County Emergency Management Agency, Stephens County 911, Stephens County EMS, Stephens County Hospital, and the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office, said Taylor.
According to Taylor, agencies try to set up exercises and drills like this once or twice a year to review the response to potential disaster scenarios.
She said they would now look at what happened during the drill in an effort to be better prepared in the future.
“Was it perfect? No,” said Taylor. “That is why we do them is to figure out where our weak points are and work on those to make it better, so that if we did have a real event, we would be ready for it.”
Taylor said organizers also appreciate those who volunteered as victims for the drill. The victims were Stephens County Fire Explorers, Health Occupation students from Stephens County High School, and local Boy Scouts.