McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

April 18, 2013

Tornado disaster drill hits KTC

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — A tornado disaster drill took place today at Kiamichi Technology Center.

The drill was staged to train emergency personnel and staff of KTC to respond in case of real disaster.

Details of the drill were unveiled as the scenario took place, according to Trent Meyers of Pittsburg County Emergency Management.

Meyers said the participants weren’t told of what type of disaster would take place until the day of the event.

“We are staging the events as if a tornado hit the north side of the building,” Meyers said.

“Some things we can’t stage like a telephone pole falling on a building or the roof caving in,” Meyers said.

Debris was strewn about the north half of the building with some students portraying victims while other students were evacuated to a central area where they were accounted for.

Actors playing the parents demanded to know where their children were and personnel were trained how to respond.

Part of the scenario involved school employees interacting the “parents” asking them to provide identification the parents were not allowed to retrieve the students without it.

Emergency personnel were staged through out the building and contacted each other by radio as each staged event took place.

Philip Mead KTC Assistant Director walked through the scene of the staged tornado disaster. “We made it look as realistic as possible,” Mead said.

On the northside of the building desks were overturned and students took part by playing as if they were injured. Notes were attached to each “victim” explaining the injuries. At least one “victim” was played as if they were killed in the tornado.

The victims were treated and taken to McAlester Regional Health Center. The hospital was also participating in the training scenario.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at