South Callaway schools practice radiation drill

South Callaway High School students board a bus as they participate in the district’s nuclear radiation drill Wednesday at the school.

South Callaway High School students board a bus as they participate in the district’s nuclear radiation drill Wednesday at the school. Photo by Mandi Steele.

— Along with occasional tornado, fire and earthquake drills, South Callaway School District also performs a nuclear radiation drill.

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Don Robinson, a South Callaway bus driver, practices detecting gamma radiation levels with a dosimeter Wednesday during a radiation training exercise held at South Callaway High School.

In the event that the Ameren Missouri Callaway Nuclear Plant releases radioactive gas, the district must have a plan in place to evacuate students and get them to safety. More than 1,000 people — South Callaway students and staff — boarded 18 buses Wednesday morning to practice these evacuation procedures. In 15 minutes, the buses were loaded. They then drove to downtown Mokane and then circled back to the schools. It was the first time the buses were taken off campus for the drill, something Donnie DeBrodie, transportation director and safety coordinator, implemented to make the exercise “more realistic.”

“I think (the drill) went pretty smooth today,” DeBrodie said, adding that his goal of loading the buses in 15 minutes was reached.

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