A driver struck a gas line outside of Pepperell High School Wednesday morning, prompting an evacuation of the school by bus to First Baptist Church of Lindale where students were accounted for by school officials and emergency personnel secured the scene.
Not to worry, there was no real emergency. It was a planned drill put together by Floyd County Schools who worked with local law enforcement and emergency services to give administrators practice in handling an emergency.
The drill involved law enforcement from several agencies, Maj. Carl Lively of the Floyd County police said, and included members of the Rome police, Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, Floyd County Emergency Management Agency as well as members of the Rome Floyd County Fire Department and Floyd Medical Center.
“It was a success,” Principal Jamey Alcorn said. The entire high school evacuated around 850 students in 30 minutes he added.
Assistant Superintendent John Parker said if the gas leak had been real the system would have also evacuated Pepperell Primary School due to its proximity to the high school.
Wednesday morning was focused more on the administrative side of the drill, said Rick Flanigen, chief safety and security officer for the system. Flanigen said the drill was a learning experience for the system and gave him a better understanding on how law enforcement handle these types of emergencies.
Flanigen led a debriefing in the Pepperell High School media center at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Alcorn said the safety and security officer was going to go over what the system did well and what needs improvement.
“The ‘went well’ list is going to be a lot longer than the ‘needs improvement,’” Alcorn said.