Gunfire at a school. It’s a call Central New York’s first responders hope never happens: An active shooter on a school campus. But if that call ever comes, Oswego County’s first responders are training to make sure they are ready. We take you inside an extraordinary active shooter drill at Sandy Creek Elementary School, and we want to warn you that this is just a drill, but the images are intense.
SANDY CREEK, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — We are inside Sandy Creek Elementary School on the front lines of a dynamic active shooter drill.
It’s chaotic. It’s confusing. It’s close to reality and it’s helping first responders push past the initial shock to do what’s necessary to save lives.
“That’s the purpose of it. No matter how much training for it, it’s going to be mass chaos when we go inside,” said Sheriff Don Hilton.
And they no longer wait. When they arrive, they take the fight right to the bad guy.
“And for law enforcement officers, for some to run past someone injured and calling for help to mentally ignore them and take out the threat, so we can get EMS in there, that’s a critical time there,” Hilton said.
The wounded are members of the Syracuse Area Disaster Drill Actors Group. The fake blood and rubber bullets all add to the realism.
“As DA, I’m also the coroner for the county and God forbid an incident like this happens, I’m going to have to respond,” Oswego County District Attorney Greg Oakes said.
For EMS, it is a chance to deal with life-threatening injuries and the unexpected.
Post drill, they’ll review what needs to be done better and strategize the best way to keep school kids safe.
“One of the things that’s been stressed by the experts is to have a way for students to secure themselves behind locked doors,” Oakes said.
New safety measures and continued training also give first responders the best tools to protect the public.
When the school year starts up, the Oswego County Sheriff’s office will launch its new SRO program. Armed officers will be inside three school district buildings.
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