The sounds of gunfire emanating from a school is unnerving.
Those were the sounds that could be heard at the Robert F. Munroe Day School Monday morning as the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Department’s Emergency Management department held a Mock Active Shooter Exercise.
The training exercise involved local law enforcement agencies, medical personnel, Emergency Management and other first responders.
A deputy reacts to a mock shooting spree at Munroe
Captain Jim Corder explained that the exercise was to help prepare all of the agencies in the county in case this type of scenario was to happen here.
Corder said they had been to the school prior to the exercise and met with the students and parents to explain what would happen.
Several students volunteered to participate in the exercise as victims, including fake blood.
“I think the point was understood that there would be casualties,” said Corder.
Corder added that he wanted all of the law enforcement agencies and personnel to make the exercise realistic.
“These things are happening all over the country and Gadsden County is not exempt,” Corder stated. “I hope that everyone here today took this seriously.”
An armed suspect runs through the school yard.
Sheriff Morris Young spoke about the School Safety Summit he held a few months ago as being a driving force behind putting on the exercise.
He said that hearing the people who had been involved in such a real-life event as Newtown helped him see the importance of being prepared.
“Hopefully,” he said, “we will never have this happen here.”
The exercise involved two active shooters who entered the school and began firing.
It began just as it would in normal circumstances with a 911 call.
Someone from the school called in the first report of shooting at the school.
Officers were dispatched to the scene and started the evaluation process of what needed to be done next.
Many shots were fired during the exercise as students were being held hostage.
Officers were able to ultimately locate the two shooters and apprehend them.
No live ammunition was used during the training.
Management experts provided the training for the mock school exercise.
From the active shooter exercise, Corder said, the departments involved would be able to learn from both the things they did right, but especially from their mistakes.
“We all learned from the experience,” said RFM Headmaster Suzie Johnson. “It was helpful in revising our emergency plan and made us aware of some changes that need to be implemented. We are appreciative of Sheriff Morris Young and his office for the opportunity to improve our safety plans.”