Training appreciated

Published 9:35 pm Friday, July 27, 2018

Nobody wants to believe that a school shooting would happen in Suffolk.

However, the unfortunate reality is that it could happen anywhere. We’re glad to see that local first responders, including police officers, sheriff’s deputies, paramedics and school officials, are working together to ensure they’re trained for the worst.

That training happened this Thursday at King’s Fork High School, with dozens of first responders coming together for the training and about a hundred students taking time away from their summer, and football practice, to participate in the role of victims and those escaping from the shooter.

Law enforcement practiced entering the building, apprehending the gunman and securing the facility. Rescue units trained on entering the building, providing emergency medical assessment and treatment to gunshot “victims” and then transporting them.

The training drills were immediately followed by debriefings where participants gathered to assess their response to the situation and learn from each drill.

The participation of the student volunteers enhanced the drill, helping to add to the chaos emergency personnel would encounter if the shooting were real.

By all accounts, this full-scale active shooter drill was a success. Those who participated are now more prepared for any possibility and can pass the wisdom on to others who were not able to participate.

Each of the participating entities learned how they could better work together with the other participants. Communication in an emergency situation is crucial, and trying to figure it out on the fly during an emergency situation makes it that much more dangerous.

And while the drill took place in a school and involved school officials and student volunteers, many of the principles learned could translate to any active shooter scenario, even one not in a school.

While we hope our local first responders never need to apply what they learned in this training, it still is gratifying to see the preparation and cooperation. We appreciate and applaud all who were involved.