Last spring GWCS was introduced to CERT, the Fairfax County Community Emergency Response Team. We participated as victim actors in a large-scale disaster scenario that allowed CERT members to practice all phases of disaster response. Coyotes were hooked, and the photos and video that circulated after the event had everyone wanting to participate at the next event.

On a frigid morning, November 15, 2014, GWCS students, staff, families, and alumni showed up in record numbers to participate in another large-scale disaster drill. The location was the abandoned Lorton Juvenile Prison. The situation was dire. A massive tornado had torn through northern Virginia leaving a path of absolute destruction. Professional special effect makeup for the victim actors and the decrepit outbuildings strewn with debris and broken glass set a powerful stage for the four-hour rescue mission.

After a complete safety briefing, we took our places armed with instructions on how to perform a realistic portrayal of our injuries, which ranged from compound fractures, to severe lacerations, to traumatic head injuries. This powerful training exercise provided a valuable experience for CERT members, and many lessons were learned.

The GWCS actors were so convincing that we were personally asked to perform again the following week (November 24, 2014) at a similar drill at the Fire Training Academy in Fairfax. Again, Coyotes showed up in force and evinced our value of service for this incredibly important and worthwhile event.

At GWCS our world is our classroom and we celebrate the opportunity to provide service to our community