All clear at PHS: The emergency drill/full evacuation of Pepperell High is over; normal day resumes.

All clear at PHS: The emergency drill/full evacuation of Pepperell High is over; normal day resumes.


All clear at Pepperell High School. From Dr. Jeff Wilson, superintendent: “The Emergency Drill at Pepperell High is now completed. All school activities are back to normal.”

From PHS Principal Jamey Alcorn: “Great evacuation drill today! Normal activities resumed at 9:30. Super proud of our faculty, staff andstudents for an excellent response. faculty & staff did an awesome job of leading this venture. Great job, students, for your excellent behavior during the drill.”

We’ll have additional coverage later today.


From Floyd County Schools: “FCS is planning an off-campus evacuation drill that will take place at Pepperell High School on Wednesday, May 15,  at 8:30 a.m. This drill has been planned with all necessary personnel and local public safety first responders. Last week, a tabletop drill was conducted with those departments and the exercise went very well.

On paper, all involved feel prepared, but now that plan needs to be tested in a real scenario to better prepare for an emergency. Students will be transported to a reunification site for the duration of the drill and will return to campus before lunch.

In order for the FCS Emergency Response Team to be effective, cooperation and assistance of the first responders and parents are vital in helping FCS protect the safety and welfare of all students and school employees. Therefore, parents should observe the following procedures:

  • Should there be a real event, the emergency alert system through Blackboard Communications will contact each parent by email, text, and phone. Make sure the school has updated emergency contact information for each child at all times. FCS must be able to contact the parent(s), legal guardian(s), or designated representative(s) in the event of an emergency. This information can be updated at any time by contacting the school.
  • If there was a real disaster, do NOT call the school. We truly and sincerely understand and respect the concern, but it is essential that the phone system be available for emergency communications and all FCS efforts are directed to the safe evacuation of the school. Contact the Floyd County Schools Central Office at 706-234-1031 for instructions and questions.
  • Do NOT come to the school unless instructed to do so by notification via Blackboard Communications. It may be necessary to keep the streets and parking lot clear for emergency response vehicles. Again, if evacuation is required, students may be transported to a location away from school, and parents would be given specific instructions from the notifications.
  • Parents need to talk to their children and emphasize how important it is for them to follow instructions from their teachers and school officials during any emergency or drill. Please emphasize the purpose and importance of appropriate behavior during drill exercises.

FCS wants each student to be aware of the importance of drills and not be afraid when the alarm is sounded. FCS is proud to have safe schools and is doing everything possible to keep it that way. Any questions regarding any of these drills or other safety concerns should be directed to the FCS Chief Security Officer, Rick Flanigen at 706-234-1031 ext. 7121 or

On Wednesday, a full school evacuation drill will be held at Pepperell High School, likely involving a simulated gas leak and the transport of more than 800 students, faculty and staff to a safe location. Friday morning, Floyd County Schools’ Chief Security Officer Rick Flanigen and Floyd County Emergency Management Director Tim Herrington joined the Hometown Headlines Radio Edition on WRGA 98.7 FM to discuss the drill.

Herrington, Flanigen and first responders will work with PHS Principal Jamey Alcorn and staff  in the drill set for the morning hours of that Wednesday. They hope to be done before 11 a.m.

Herrington and Flanigen outlined the drill and what folks can expect. Click the above Sound Cloud feature to hear more about the drill. The audio tape lasts just over 12 minutes.

About their interview: Here are some highlights from the interview heard on WRGA and posted on its website:

According to Floyd County Schools’ Chief Security Officer Rick Flanigen, the scenario will be a gas leak.

“It’s not saying that if we have a similar situation that we will evacuate the school,” he said.  “We would speak with public safety, find out what they recommend and then decide the best course of action.  But this drill is just for us to go out and see how well our protocols are working. “We are tentatively going to begin the drill at 8:30 and we hope to finish up at around 10:45.  That’s the window that we are looking at.  It could be longer or it could be shorter.  It’s hard to say because we have never done this type of exercise before.”

The drill is similar to one that was conducted last year at Armuchee Middle School but with 800 students and staff being moved, which is about double the number for the Armuchee Middle School exercise.

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