Tornado drill seems real for students in Leelanau County

Students at St. Mary's in Leelanau assume the role of tornado victims during a county-wide drill

The Leelanau County Office of Emergency Management conducted a county-wide tornado drill this morning at 9 AM. All five school districts in the county as well as seven fire departments and the state police were required to activate their emergency drill plan and the Emergency Operations Center was in full operation.

Ambulances, fire trucks, and patrol cars were on scene to assist students who took on the role of "patients" with scripted lines and injuries to be assessed. The students who played patients enjoyed being a part of the drill and said it added to how real a tornado drill could feel. Many pretended to be victims of the tornado and bandages and fake blood were used to make the "patients" look more realistic.

The exercise was closely monitored and the county government center will evaluate the reaction time and emergency preparedness of all schools and crews involved.

"There are reports being filed and we are tracking exactly when the phone calls come in, how they respond...We are tracking every response, every dialogue between the fire departments and the police officers and so forth." said Leelanau County Administrator Chet Janik.

The county has been doing these drills of different scenarios for about 10 years and continue to learn and benefit from each one.