PARIS, TX-- The Emergency Management and Healthcare Conference wrapped up in Paris Wednesday with a live disaster drill.
**We want to remind you -- what you see in the video was only a drill -- and was not a real emergency.**
Paris Police, SWAT, Fire and EMS took part in a live disaster exercise on Wednesday, getting hands on experience in case a real situation were to occur.
"Our motto is not if a disaster is going to happen it's when it's going to happen," said Northeast Texas Regional Advisory Council Executive Director Shae Watson.
The exercise scenario took place on a bus that was heading to the conference. A mentally unstable man who was just discharged from Paris Junior Colleges' nursing program takes students and instructors hostage.
"When were in the bus it crashed and a man sitting in the back of bus pulled a gun," said exercise participant Jesse Skelton.
First Responders arrived on scene in minutes. Men, women and kids, posing as injured PJC students, were taken by ambulance and helicopter to surrounding hospitals.
Paris EMS Director Kent Klinkerman says it was a great learning experience for his crew.
"All the different agencies who have come from all over the region came together and practiced this full force disaster drill very well," said Klinkerman.
The drill was open for the public to watch. Vicki Frankland, who had two children participate in the drill, says she knows these First Responders are ready if disaster strikes.
"I thought it was fantastic thought it was fantastic from the start to the finish," said Vicki Frankland. "I thought they did a really good job preparing the kids for what was to come."
Organizers say the drill was not only the biggest one they've had... it's also been the most successful.
"Those particular individuals from Paris, to actually got to play in their own front yard, said Shae Watson. "So now they have a better approach of how they can better help the citizens of Paris."
The drill brought in crews from nine different Northeast Texas Counties.