Area residents may notice increased activity near Bolivar Primary School on Wednesday, July 24, including the presence of emergency vehicles and first responders.
Emergency management officials, however, say the excitement will be nothing to be alarmed about. Rather, it will be evidence of various agencies coming together for a school emergency drill — and to prepare for the worst.
According to a Bolivar Emergency Management news release, the exercise, planned for 8 a.m. to noon, will involve multiple additional public agencies, including the Bolivar Police Department, the Bolivar City Fire Department, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County Emergency Management, Polk County Central Dispatch and Citizens Memorial Hospital.
Officials say heavy traffic in the area is expected.
“There will be an abnormally high amount of emergency vehicle traffic on the roads surrounding the intermediate, primary and high schools during that time,” BPD Lt. Roger Barron said via email Thursday.
Officials are asking the public to stay away from the area near BPS during the drill.
“Roads in the vicinity of BPS at 706 N. Leonard Place will be heavily congested, and many emergency vehicles will be in the area during the exercise,” the release said. “Please avoid travel in the area between 8 a.m. and noon.”
During the drill, actors playing the role of patients will be transported from the scene to CMH “for a surge exercise at the hospital,” the release added.
While some school officials will be participating, no children will be involved in the drill, the release said.
“While we wish we didn’t have to do these drills, all agencies are striving to be prepared should the worst happen in our community,” Bolivar Emergency Management Director Brent Watkins said in the release. “It is important for all agencies to practice together because responding to emergency situations requires strong collaboration.”
The BH-FP reached out Wednesday to R-1 for comment. As of press time Friday, no response had been received.