Dublin Middle School practices off-site evacuation drill

DUBLIN, Va. (WDBJ) Schools in our hometowns are taking steps to prepare for worst-case scenarios. In Pulaski County, students and staff are practicing evacuation drills with law enforcement.

As the storm clouds rolled in, the students at Dublin Middle School lined up. The evacuation drill meant all 500-plus students and staff had to escorted off the premises as quickly as possible.

"A little less than 600 folks evacuating at one time is a pretty tall task," Dublin Middle School's principal, Adam Joyce said.

He directed kids to the buses, working with law enforcement to make sure everyone was accounted for.

"If we need to evacuate the kids for any reason, this is where it starts and practice does make perfect," Dublin's police chief, Dennis Lambert said.

"I think the time has come where you have to practice your drills for any scenario," Joyce added.

These scenarios range from natural disasters to school shootings.

"It's not been that long ago since there was a train derailment and we're right by the train tracks," Joyce explained.

"The world we live in is different from when I grew up and we have to be prepared for that and that's all this is about," Lambert said.

According to the principal, the school was focused on safety and speed. In a matter of minutes, all the students had been evacuated to an undisclosed location.

"We were out in what I considered perfect time," Joyce said.

"They're in good hands," Lambert reassured parents. "I've worked in other law enforcement agencies and I can tell you, they're in good hands."

Law enforcement and school staff debriefed after the drill. They talked about their strengths and what areas need to be improved. All the schools in Pulaski County are participating in the similar drills.