Emergency Drills: A Talk With Mr. Djernes

Emergency Drills: A Talk With Mr. Djernes

Rileigh Juba, Writer

On Tuesday, the 17th of September, the Collegedale Academy High School student body practiced one in a series of emergency drills required for the year.

With the uptick in school emergencies in the recent past, staff, students, and parents alike are on edge. We want to know if we’re safe, and if not, how we can be. Are these drills an effective security measure? 

To answer these questions, I asked a few questions of Mr. Djernes, the man in charge when it comes to safety drills.*

Q: Do you think drills are effective?

A: Research suggests they are. Do they guarantee success? Probably not, but practice helps us to know what to do in any eventuality.

Q: What is being accomplished with these drills?

A: Drills help us to do things systematically.  In high-stress situations, people resort to what they know, which is usually to panic. Drills condition our minds to do as practiced. 

As the faculty, we’re accountable to your parents. We practice these drills to hone your instincts so that you will be able to survive in case there isn’t someone there telling you what to do.

Mr. Djernes believes that drills as we practice them are, essentially, effective. However, as more information becomes available, processes and policies may change. What he left me with this: we students have an active part to play as well. You may be familiar with the phrase, “if you see something, say something.” This phrase is just as important in the airport as it is within the school. We are the eyes and ears of the school and those that run it. They rely on us. Our input from the front lines can be the difference between life and death.