Disaster could strike

Published 6:10 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
Area rescue agencies will perform a mock disaster drill next Wednesday to prepare themselves in case of an actual emergency.
This is just a test!
The specific details of the drill are not being given in advance so to provide the participants the opportunity to evaluate their staffs.
"It's just a practice drill," Atmore Fire &Rescue chief Gerry McGhee said. "It's not to criticize anybody, but just to see where our faults are. It's to see where we need to improve. We could have a disaster strike and we want to see what we can do to improve services."
Participants include, Atmore Fire &Rescue Department, Atmore Police Department, Atmore Department of Public Safety, Atmore Utilities Board, Atmore Community Hospital, Atmore Ambulance, Kelley's Ambulance Service, E-911, Escambia County EMA, Poarch Fire Department and the Escambia County Health Department.
"This will help the hospital, fire departments and police departments see where they all need to improve on. It's everybody working together to get better," McGhee said.
Reverse 911 calls began Monday throughout Atmore, which is used to alert citizens in attempt to prevent panic. It was performed to help the public become familiar with the system.
Forty-five percent of Atmore was finished by Monday afternoon and the remaining households were called Tuesday. Monday, 2,061 calls were made. Of those calls, 969 homes were reached, 1,035 answer machines picked up and there were 51 hang-ups. A total of 4,627 were to be made by Tuesday evening.
"It's a real good thing," McGhee said. "Everybody I've talked with that have done this before said it's a good thing that we need to do."

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