School shooting scenario tests emergency response

By Heather R. Breaux

March 25, 2009 at 8:43 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Five parish agencies, along with various state and federal departments, took part in a coordinated training exercise to test their ability to respond to a school shooting at Luling Elementary. Nearly 120 students also acted in the drill.
Thelezia Folse
Five parish agencies, along with various state and federal departments, took part in a coordinated training exercise to test their ability to respond to a school shooting at Luling Elementary. Nearly 120 students also acted in the drill.
First responders were on hand last Friday at Luling Elementary when five parish agencies, along with a variety of state and federal departments, joined forces for a mock training exercise that tested each agencies’ response to a school shooting scenario.

“The purpose of this agency coordination training exercise is to give local departments, like the sheriff’s office, the opportunity to see how well they respond in an emergency situation,” said Capt. Pat Yoes, spokesperson for the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“This realistic exercise involved students, teachers and first responders.”

Nearly 120 students from around the parish were cast in the drill, along with 250 teachers and other faculty members.

“This year’s event was a success,” Yoes said. “All departments were pleased with their employees response time and rescue capabilities.”

In an attempt to test the sheriff’s office’s emergency response around the board, the exercise began with calls to the 9-1-1 Communications Center from the school. It then focused on the actions taken by first-responding deputies and the sheriff’s office’s special response team and command staff.

“This is a great way for everyone to be on the same page in the case of an emergency,” Yoes said. “These school-based drills are beneficial to the schools because it allows them to see all parts of an emergency and help them be better prepared in the event of an actual shooter.”

In all, the agencies were faced with 70 gunshot victims, fire and rescue situations and multiple shooters.

“We’ve been doing this exercise for several years and each year has been a success,” said Yoes. “It’s a unique way for us to test our emergency response.”

Representatives from the Luling Fire Department, the St. Charles Hospital Emergency Medical Service, the St. Charles Emergency Operations Center, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Air Support Unit, Monsanto’s Emergency Response Team and the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office participated in the exercise.




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