By Paula @ Holiday World

Do you remember school fire drills? As kids, we’d scurry down the hallway knowing we’d get a few extra minutes of “recess” as part of the drill.

It was a good thing.

Here at Holiday World, we conduct drills, too. And yesterday evening was a big one.

For the better part of a year, our staff has worked with area agencies to plan the type of emergency-preparedness drill that would benefit all involved.

… because every last one of us wants to be prepared to handle what we hope will never happen.

Our scenario? A weather emergency: a “microburst” would hit the park while we were open.

Our staff and most of the emergency workers didn’t know any of the details of the drill ahead of time, so when the first radio call went out we learned there was a fast-appoaching violent storm.

We tweeted throughout the drill, explaining what was going on:

We learned, through triage, that park guests needed help in the parking lot, in Kringle’s, and in a restroom – where access to the injured was blocked by falling trees. There was also a pregnant lady in Skeeball who thought she was going into labor. LifeFlight from St. Mary’s and a Search & Rescue team from the Owensboro, Kentucky, fire department joined personnel from local police, fire, EMS, EMA and sheriff departments.

As part of the drill, the injured were transported by helicopter, ambulance and bus.

And what happened to the woman in active labor?

Thanks to the scores of rescuers who gave up their evening for the training exercise. As much as we all hope to never need your expertise and skills, it’s good to know it’s there.

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