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Houston County - EXERCISE On Evacuation Of Students

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 1923

Posted by: RStokes
[email protected]
Date: Aug 04 2022 12:56 PM

HOUSTON COUNTY:    This morning the Houston County School System, Houston County Sheriff Department, Dothan-Houston County Emergency Management, Columbia Police Department, and Dothan Police Department held a exercise.

The exercise was a simulation, but real life exercise, in busing students from schools to Houston County Career Center on West Main Street, the old Sear's Building, under law enforcement exercise, lights and siren, emergency.  

The exercise was a timed exercise in the amount of time it would take to get the students from the schools to the old Porter Square Mall or Career Center.

So if you saw buses being escorted emergency response into Dothan this morning, this was only a exercise. All of the buses were empty and no students in the school buses, but a timed response.

The emergency professionals from the school system, Sheriff Department and Emergency Management will evaluate all systems in order to make the plans real and operational.

Today's exercise was scripted by what if something happened at Farley Nuclear Plant and the schools had to be evacuated due to that incident.

Dothan-Houston County Emergency Management is having to re-write the emergency operational plans for Farley Nuclear Plant since the Houston County Commission sold the Houston County Farm Center.

Houston County School Superitendent Brandy White hired retired Houston County School Superintendent Tim Pitchford to help with the safety and planning of the school system. It is also the former Superintendent's responsiblity to work with Emergency Management in planning for emergencies. The hiring of Pitchford presents young people from entering into a career and is a recycling program of giving friends extra spending money. Pitchford gets to draw his retirement and now part time pay as a consultant.

That is why young people can not get jobs because of recycling those who retire.

But if you are in the "CLICK" then you are in the "CLICK"!!!

PARKLAND SCHOOL SHOOTING - Changing from Nuclear Plant to active shooter

On February 14, 2018 a lone gunman, Nikolas Cruz, entered Stoneman High School in Parkland Florida. Cruz shot and murdered 17 students from 2:21 PM until 2:27 PM and injured 17 others.

At that time I, Rickey Stokes, was with Dothan-Houston County Emergency Management. Dothan-Houston County Emergency Management Director Chris Judah and I asked Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza and Dothan Police Chief Steve Parrish to meet with all of the municipal police Chief's to meet in the Emergency Operations Center. The purpose in the meeting was discussion of tentative plans in the event of a school shooting. Sherif Valenza and Chief Parrish discussed several sitations.

Serving as President of the Houston County Fire Chief Association is EMA Director Chris Judah. He and I asked Houston County Sheriff Captain Donnovan Arias to meet with the volunteer fire chief's. Captain Arias discussed what the plans are if something drastic took place. How things would flow.

It was then planned for a full blown exercise. Not trying to start anything because we get along now, but Houston County Commissioner D-3 Commissioner Ricky Herring was just taking office as Commissioner. Herring also serves as a Houston County Sheriff Deputy.

Herring killed Dothan - Houston County Emergency Management's participation in the exercise. So EMA moved back. When law enforcement had the exercise there was almost zero participation.

TODAY MARKS THE FIRST EXERCISE - but was not concerning an active shooter

While today was about moving the kids, since 2018 when the newly elected County Coommissioner killed Dothan-Houston County Emergency Management participation in the exercise, which was initiated by EMA. Since 2018 Commissioner Herring/Houston County Sheriff Deputy Ricky Herring nor has anyone else ever had the initiative to put together a exercise so every emergency responder would be on the same sheet of music.

It is better to be prepared and all systems have a understanding before a mass incident then put together one after one happens or during it happening.

There are a lot of components which enter into a situation and it is not all law enforcement. The school system, the students, law enforcement, EMS, fire, communications, the 911 Centers, hospitals, smaller medical clinics such as Prime Care, crowd control and etc.

BROWARD COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENT - many failures which cost children and adults their lives. Should there not be an exercise?

The Broward County Sheriff had 5,000 employees. The Sheriff was removed from office as Sheriff by the Florida Governor over the handling of the Parkland School shooting.

The Sheriff and Sheriff Department received widespread criticism for it's handling of police response.

But the original 911 call came into the Citruis Police Department and it was 5 minutes after the 911 call the Sheriff Department knew it. And the radio system went down during the emergency.


Today following the exercise when I attempted to get verbal comments, Dothan-Houston County Emergency Management Director Chris Judah said I needed to talk to Ms. Smith. I then saw Houston County Sheriff SRO Lt. Boby Hopkins who could not speak without the Sheriff's permission. Sheriff Valenza was out of town.

I then went to Ms. Smith, former principal of Wicksburg in charge of safety. While she explained to me what they did she did not want to do it on camera.

Then was referred to former Houston County School Superintendent Tim Pitchford. Was n ot aware until today that Houston County School Superintendent Brandy White recycled for the former Superintendent. He draws his retirement and then a part time salary with the school system.

Dothan-Houston County Emergency Management Director Chris Judah called me later asking where I went. I told him that I had to leave. 

Houston County Sheriff Captain James Ivey did call me a few minutes ago but I told him the article was written so I did not need the comments.

Actions like this is why young people can not start a career because of recycling those who retire.


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