GSW stages shooting emergency drill - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

GSW stages shooting emergency drill

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

Americus,  GA (WALB) – South Georgia emergency agencies are better prepared to handle a disaster. They practiced how they would respond to a fire and mass shooting.

Local first responders from several counties joined representatives from GEMA and GBI agents for the drill at Georgia Southwestern State University.

Sirens echo in the distance. But as injured students are transported to the hospital, terror takes over the Marshall Student center.

The police radio crackles with the call: 'We had a fire in the residence hall where he had burn victims.'

Amid the staged sounds of gun shots and screams, two shooters open fire, bullets fly, hitting several students in their path.

Police burst in, guns blazing, looking for the suspects. They find the first one hiding in the men's bathroom. Police shoot and kill him. Then, they find their next target, and she's placed in handcuffs.

But it's not over. Scared students still need medical attention from head wounds, bleeding shoulders, and shattered hands.

This could happen at anyone's university, anybody's town. Of course, it was all a drill, today. But emergency workers know it could have easily been real. And the practice is crucial.

 "This is excellent. Now we'll take the video back and critique mistakes," said Arthur Clark, Sumter LEPC Chair. "We don't get together with other agencies enough so I saw a lack of communication and because of that I saw where our guys could have gotten killed."

Officers say they don't take simulations lightly, and will learn and correct their mistakes. "The way you train is the way you react so if you don't train seriously, you won't react seriously in the real situation," said Christopher Janovsky. Americus Police Officer.

"The more training like this we get , the better our officers will be on the streets," said Sumter Co. Sheriff's Lt. Anthony Bobbit.

And the better they'll be to protect you. The students were even transported to the hospital today for practice.

It was good experience for the university too, they activated their mass notification system this morning sending emails and calls out to nearly 4,000 people.

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