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September 20, 2013

Intruder drill set at SWGTC

THOMASVILLE — On Tuesday, at 2 p.m., Southwest Georgia Technical College (SWGTC) will conduct an armed intruder drill. The sequence of events will be practiced in conjunction with the Thomasville Police Department, Thomas County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia State Patrol.

This drill will give the college an opportunity to learn of any weaknesses and to use this information to make improvements.

“Although we hope that none of us will ever have to use the knowledge that will be gained through this type of realistic drill, it is our responsibility to ensure that our students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to experience such a simulation in order to practice procedures and steps that could keep them from being harmed if such an emergency occurred in their lives in the future. In light of incidents that have occurred at schools, businesses, and even military installations over the past few years, it is incumbent for our college to have this drill. I believe our institution would be less than proactive if we didn’t have such a simulation or drill,” said SWGTC President Dr. Craig Wentworth.

Armed intruder incidents in schools are escalating at an alarming rate. Historically, these events create victims in the first few seconds before the police have time to respond. The objective of this simulation drill is to train students, faculty, and staff with initial actions they can take to make a difference and potentially save lives in the crucial minutes before police arrive.

“Although we believe that it is an unlikely situation that a campus lockdown would be required at Southwest Georgia Technical College, our staff agreed that it would be prudent to conduct appropriate training. Therefore, we coordinated with Thomasville Police Department to create a drill that hopefully will prepare us to lockdown the campus. We will use the College’s mass alert system to notify Faculty, Staff and Students about the drill and we will utilize monitors to evaluate how well our College responds to the drill. The goal is for this event to be a learning experience that we can use to improve and ensure the safety of everyone on our SWGTC campuses,” said Gary Pitts, VP of Economic Development and head of campus security.

After the simulation is complete and the “all clear” has been given, college administration will have a debriefing session with all law enforcement agencies involved. This examination of the college’s performance during the drill will be analyzed and provide SWGTC with specific areas that need to be addressed to make SWGTC as safe as possible for all students, faculty, and staff.

SWGTC offers more than 80 certificate, diploma, and degree programs. Many of these programs provide training for some of the nation’s fastest-growing career fields including Nursing, Automotive Technology, Clinical Laboratory Technology, and Emergency Medical Technology. More information may be obtained by calling 229-225-4096 or by logging onto www.southwestgatech.edu.

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