CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Schools all over the country are taking park in the Great California ShakeOut Earthquake drill, including Cathedral City High School.
Calls of, “If you can hear the sound of my voice come toward me!” rang out throughout the school this afternoon as emergency response teams scoured classrooms for injured students. The drill involved searching under desks and behind doors.
“As we go in we have to mark the door with a slanted line,” Natalie Lopez, a senior at Cathedral City High School said.
That signal lets other emergency groups know there is already a team inside a particular room.
“If the room is clear, then we go out and cross an ‘X,'” Lopez said.
If the teams locate students who are injured or unresponsive, they work to remove them using the proper equipment. Victims are then transported to a makeshift triage at the school’s tennis courts.
Today’s drill included a helicopter and the fire department. It’s intended to be as real as possible to prepare students and faculty for a natural disaster. The entire school participates, while some students even posing to have real injuries.
“I know for shock, you can’t move them. You have to put them in an elevated position. Elevate their legs,” Claudia Chavez, a senior at Cathedral City High School said.
“We have to learn how to take vital signs and how to respond to situations like this, and we have to learn to be professional and organized because disasters like this can be very stressful,” Viviana Hummel, a senior at Cathedral City High School said.
Kyle Bashore is the lead teacher of the HEAL Academy, which involves juniors and seniors. He says the drill acts as an exam for seniors.
“Part of their training is becoming certified, which is the community emergency response team. They are trained on how to search and rescue, mitigate disaster,” Bashore said.
Bashore says that training can also be used for victims of car accidents and other things like minor cuts and bruises that may occur at home.