First responders train for active shooter situation
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - First responders in Wichita Falls got real-life training on Wednesday, during an active shooter exercise in a vacant Sam Houston Elementary School, in hopes it would help them be better prepared for active shooter events.
Several agencies took part in the active shooter exercise and all were tested on their ability to communicate and cooperate efficiently during an active shooter situation. Sgt. Charlie Eipper, Wichita Falls Police Department’s public information officer said the group of first responders did well overall.
“We feel good about it, we’re confident. I think the training went very well. I like the fact that we get to get out with our media and kind of show this is what’s going to happen, these are the stages, in order to get information out to people. One of the things we’ve learned too is that communication is very important,” Eipper said.
While active shooter situations are unpredictable, this drill took months to plan in order to involve as many real-life elements of an active shooter situation as possible.
Specifics about the training can not be released but Chris Horgen, public information for the city of Wichita Falls, said it is a team effort to be able to prevent any casualties in these types of scenarios.
“This is when they come together and say this is what needs to be done. And, just from seeing what happened early on, I think they did a pretty good job of getting in and neutralizing the threat and hopefully learning what they needed to learn,” Horgen said.
Ashley Thomas, communications officer for WFISD agrees and said one of the main things they learned from today’s training was how to communicate with parents. They have already started thinking about setting different systems in place.
“Rather than the community having to go to the school district website, we would try to work with the city to create one emergency website where people can find information in one area,” Thomas said.
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