Post date: Sep 4, 2015 12:39:37 PM

Members of local law enforcement and emergency response departments met with Yancey County Schools’ administrators and staff this week to coordinate a county-wide emergency drill to be held later this month on the campus of Mountain Heritage High School.

Yancey County Schools will dismiss early on Monday, September 28th to allow personnel from each school to be involved in this real-life, real-time emergency drill. “We take the safety of our students and staff very seriously. Serious enough to dismiss school a half-day and pull staff from across the county to participate,” stated Superintendent Dr. Tony Tipton.

While the details of the emergency situation will not be released prior to the drill, MHHS Principal Kevin Huskins is working closely with his School Resource Officer Anthony Renfro to assure that many “situations” are presented throughout the school building as possible for responders to deal with as in any real emergency. YCS staff members from other schools will serve as “students” in the high school classrooms to provide a “real” experience for the teachers at MHHS. Principal Huskins stated “We are very excited to have all the emergency partners involved in this drill. Our goal is to ensure our students are safe every day they come to school. This drill will enable us to enact our plan and prepare for situations we hope never happen.”

Sheriff Gary Banks, whose office is helping to coordinate this drill added, “Yancey County has, thankfully, not experienced an event in recent years that has required the coordination of all law enforcement and emergency personnel to one specific location. If, worst case scenario, we did have an event at one of our schools it could require not only all of Yancey emergency personnel but mutual aid from other counties as well.” Banks continued, “A training opportunity like this allows us to improve our communication and coordination between departments as well as providing hands-on training for individuals. We appreciate the school system recognizing the importance of this type of drill and opening their doors for training purposes.”

In addition to fire, tornado, and lockdown drills schools conduct on a regular basis, this drill involving law enforcement and emergency responders county-wide is required every two years by NCGS 115C-105.49.