"THIS IS A DRILL. THIS IS ONLY A DRILL."
It was hard to miss Bossier City Fire Department's Mobile Command Unit, truck and ladder extended above one of Airline High School's buildings. To the passerby, it may have been cause for alarm. Thankfully, this was all part of security training for new administrators at Bossier Parish Schools.
More than a dozen recently appointed principals and assistant principals spent the day learning how to handle various crisis situations, under the tutelage of Retired Lieutenant Colonel Gene Barattini with the Caddo/Bossier Office of Homeland Security. They learned the proper protocol in cases of inclimate weather, tornados, fires, hazardous spills and other crises.
Administrators also got a lesson in how Bossier's School Resource Officers work closely with first responders. They practiced evacuation procedures as well and learned firsthand how to properly use a fire extinguisher, because every minute counts.
"They could be thrust in a position they don't want to necessarily be in, but they have to be prepared for," said Danny Dison, Director of Security for Bossier Schools. "We want to be sure they are ready before the first day of school on August ninth."
Michele Tugwell, Assistant Principal at Bossier High School, agreed. "The training was very beneficial to me as a new assistant principal," she said. "I was aware of all the types of emergencies, but not well trained on how to handle each uniquely and efficiently. I feel better prepared after training with Lt. Col. Barattini, Chief Dison, the Bossier City Fire Department, the Bossier City Police Department and the bomb squad."