Practice Makes Perfect – Emergency Management Hosts Drill

First Responder at Drill Training

PHOTO | Jaci Palmer

A few days of hands-on learning for the students on campus last week during a mock exercise with Russellville first responders.

The students were part of enrolled in the Special Projects: Exercise Design course, taught by Dr. Jamie Stacy, associate professor of emergency management.

During the mock exercise, the students were divided into evaluators and actors to create a simulation of an unknown chemical causing burns to students. The students that evaluated the scene were able to learn from an outsider’s point of view, and those involved got to see from the eyes of someone in a dangerous situation.

Stacy worked hands-on with the students as they navigated how to handle what could be a real crisis and provided encouragement, critiques, and advice along the way.

The three-day exercise ensured each student could evaluate and participate in everything that occurred.

“We’re truly practicing for our careers,” Elly Stone, an emergency management major from Prairie Grove, said.

“This kind of situation could occur, and we must know how to control it. This is our job, and Dr. Stacy wants us to be prepared. I can already feel myself getting more confident in stressful situations like this,” Stone said.

Stone said the students all walked away with new knowledge and experience to use in possible situations, along with no (real) injuries. Not only do the students gain an understanding of how to handle a dangerous situation, but the Russellville Fire Department first responders also benefit by receiving time for their 24-hour “suit time” requirement. This is mandatory for them to keep their HazMat certifications.