UK Students Hold Emergency Response Drill as Part of Final Exam

Dec 6, 2013

Students at the University of Kentucky’s College of Communication held a disaster response drill  Thursday.

Half put on makeup to play injured tornado victims while the rest tried to find, rescue, and heal them.   It’s the final test for Dr. Shari Veil’s class, which uses the hook of a zombie apocalypse to get students thinking about disaster preparedness.

“It’s getting students to think about what could happen, especially with a population who is least likely to think that bad things could happen to them.  We are putting this class together so that they understand what could go wrong and they know how to respond to it," Veil said. 

Some students had the chance to show their disaster response skills such as first aid and triage.  Others, like senior Jacqueline Smith, put them to the test.  

“It’s gonna be really fun for me to play the part of a victim, be really needy, and try and trip them up and say things like “I need water.  Please can’t you just give me water?”  because they’re not supposed to in case I’m in shock.  They’re not supposed to give me water but I’m gonna try and trip them up and say things like that.  I think that’s going to be fun for me, trying to stump the rescuers," she said.

Shelley Bendall, CERT (Certified Emergency Response Team)  coordinator with Lexington’s Department of Emergency Management says the class and exercise are a great way to train the general public. 

“Exercises and training like this, it gives people confidence that they know what to do in the case of an emergency.  The fact is we may never have a tornado go through like this, but I guarantee that you’ll need to use your first aid training at some point, so it’s just good training for everybody.”

Response to the class has been positive, and Professor Veil hopes to run this kind of exercise on an annual basis.