Wenatchee Area Responders To Stage Simulated Active Shooter Scene
A joint effort is being organized to simulate an active shooter scene at Wenatchee Valley College next week.
The college and Confluence Health asked local police, fire and EMS agencies to take part in the exercise.
Ballard Ambulance Director of Operations Mike Battis says it's a way for all responders to collectively prepare for an active shooter emergency.
"I truly believe that you do not rise to the occasion, but you fall to the level of your training," said Battis. "So, we try to provide as much training as we can, so that if the situation happens like this, that we're prepared to respond appropriately and do a good job for the community."
The organizers want the public to know that a highly increased first responder and law enforcement presence will be in full view during the drill at Wenatchee Valley College next Friday, June 24th.
The exercise is a joint effort between Confluence Health, Wenatchee School District, Wenatchee Valley College, Wenatchee Valley Fire Department, Wenatchee Police Department, and the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, along with regional fire, police, and EMS agencies, to better coordinate efforts to protect the community.
Battis says the area has seen its share of behavior that requires an elevated response.
“We’ve had several of the swatting type incidents in the community that raise the suspicion, but you look across the nation and it’s in the headlines all the time of an active shooter at this location and that location,” Battis said. “So, we hope that it never comes here, but we’re most certainly going to be prepared if it does.”
The college is providing volunteers who will serve as fictional patients complete with theatrical makeup to simulate injuries during the drill, which will last between 2.5-3 hours.
The drill will start with the initial response from the college going through its internal process for calling 911 and locking down for safety.
The next step will center on law enforcement response to engage and neutralize the active shooter.
It’ll be followed by EMS and fire departments who’ll focus on patient care, with transportation being provided by ambulance and helicopter as Airlift Northwest from the University of Washington and Life Flight from Brewster will participate in the exercise.
The final step will be the hospital response from Confluence Health, which will activate its Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) and Disaster Medical Coordination Center (DMCC) to deliver emergency care to the patients.
Similar exercises to simulate an active shooter scene have been staged in recent years, which have mostly involved the same agencies and responders in the Wenatchee region.