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Drill deals with disaster
Sianna Womack plays a victim in the drill.

Madison Jones was in a school bus Wednesday morning on her way to WCHS when tornado-like winds caused the bus to roll and toss passengers against seats and walls.
At least that was the story she told medical personnel at the hospital emergency room as part of a multi-county disaster drill. The drill was held to test how the Saint Thomas River Park ER staff would respond to a much higher volume of patients due to a natural disaster.
“The scenario we’re dealing with is a tornado coming through multiple counties in the Upper Cumberland,” said River Park nursing supervisor Shauna Samuel. “This is our test to see how we’ll handle it when we’re hit with a much larger influx of patients than what we’re used to having.”
The drill was conducted simultaneously at hospitals around the region. Locally, all aspects of emergency response participated, including the 911 center, ambulance service, police and fire departments.
Samuel said the River Park emergency room is equipped to handle up to 15 patients at a time. The ER was flooded with 20 patients at once Wednesday because of the drill.
“We handled it like it was real,” said Samuel. “The hospital gave out a code black, which signifies a weather disaster. Then we gave out a code yellow, which signifies an internal disaster. That means people were coming to the ER to help from other departments.”
Sianna Womack was one of the WCHS students who played a disaster victim. Her story was she was standing in her home when high winds caused a window to break and shatter glass across her face. Makeup was used to give her large cuts on her check and forehead.