Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It's only a drill

The Columbia Police Department and the Columbia School
District Administration will be coordinating a critical incident emergency drill at the
Columbia High School campus located at 901 Ironville Pike in Columbia Borough.
Multiple Lancaster County law enforcement, fire and emergency medical service
agencies will be participating in this dril, next week.The goal of this drill is multi-fold. First, the drill will serve to train first responders
(Police, Fire, EMS) how to safely and rapidly deploy their respective resources to
the scene of a critical incident at a school that contains students and staff. This
type of situation has proven through numerous previous incidents to be one of the
most challenging events that first responders face. This drill is designed so that first
responders can identify potential problem areas, work on successful inter-agency
communication, familiarize themselves with the school building layout and grounds, and
put Emergency Operation plans into action to gauge effectiveness.
Secondly, this drill will allow school students and staff to work with first responders
during a critical incident. Cooperation between first responders and students/staff
is imperative. The goal is to increase student/staff understanding of their respective
responsibilities to ensure a calm and orderly evacuation as well as to allow for effective
communication between building staff and first responders. This will assist in locating
and removing those who may require medical attention as well as identifying potential
safety threats inside the building.
Although this is a drill, it is designed to be as realistic as possible. As such, no
spectators will be permitted in or around the security perimeter. Questions about this
drill can be directed to Columbia Police Chief Jack Brommer or Detective Matt Leddy.

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