Water Treatment Plant Employees Spooked During Fake Robbery

Readiness drills are part and parcel for many organizations and businesses because they teach employees important protocols about how to react during an emergency. Failure to remain calm, cool and collected could put employees' lives at stake.

No matter then that a readiness drill at a central California water treatment plant last week is a prime example of what such plans aren't supposed to do: make employees panic.

But that's exactly what happened Friday morning at the West Kern Water District office in Taft after a last-minute change of plans left four front-desk staffers believing that they were really being held up at gunpoint, reports ABC-affiliate KERO.

As it turned out, the robber was a fellow employee wearing a mask, carrying a bag, and with a note claiming that he had a gun and demanding money.

It wasn't until after the faux robber left that the four female employees learned that the hold-up was fake.

Officials with the water district wouldn't go on camera, KERO noted. But they did issue a written statement saying that the original plan called for the "robber" to be an easily recognized employee -- to allow the workers to know that it was an act, and provide an opportunity to practice what they'd been taught in training.

But for reasons unexplained, a last-minute decision -- made without the approval of management -- resulted in the robber wearing a mask.

Whether anyone will face disciplinary action for the training gone awry isn't clear. As KERO reported, West Kern Water District officials aren't talking.

The question we're left with is: Why would someone hold up a water treatment plant, anyway?

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