Students were forced outside as area police, firemen and the Oklahoma City bomb squad converged on campus to participate in a college-wide bomb drill Tuesday, July 13.
The simulated bomb threat began at 9:08 a.m. when a mock bomb exploded on the south side of the college in parking lot F. The drill lasted throughout most of the afternoon.
During the event, OCPD bomb squad personnel and OCCC security guards worked together to capture the pretend bomber who fled the scene.
The OCPD bomb squad also was kept busy dealing with a second bomb in a cooler left at the site of the mock explosion.
Students also assisted in the event. Twelve emergency medical students volunteered to simulate injuries created by a car explosion. Five other students played the roles of bystanders, said Cordell Jordan, Media Relations coordinator.
“The upperclassmen paramedic students that are participating in the simulation today are participating voluntarily,” said Leaugeay Barnes, Emergency Medical Sciences program director. “However, some of the basic students are getting extra credit for participating.”
Mock injuries, ranging from ruptured eardrums, shrapnel wounds and broken bones, were rated with a color code system by EMTs and firefighters, she said.
This was the first time the college could test its new security procedures implemented after the Feb. 26 campus shooter incident, which include public address speakers mounted outside on some of the campus buildings, Jordan said.
Ike Sloas, Campus Safety and Security director, said he was pleased with the performance of the new emergency communication system. “The system worked very well,” he said. “We got all the departments completely evacuated.”
Although the drill had everyone in the buildings evacuating outside, Jordan said in a real situation like the one performed Tuesday, the college would actually be locked down.
“When you have a suspect on the run with a second bomb that has not been detonated, there is a potential for danger,” Jordan said. “So we would follow lockdown procedures and close off the campus.”
Steven Warren, EMT student, said he enjoyed participating in the simulation.“I’m glad to be a part of something that helps our college and public service members become better at their jobs,” he said.
Jordan said the drill was a success. “Overall we are very pleased,” said Jordan. “We learned a lot yesterday.”