Volunteers discuss experience of mass shooter training exercise | News


BLUEFIELD, Va. — Assigned roles and bloody make-up had been a part of the preparations this week when first responders carried out an train that helped them put together for the trauma of a mass taking pictures incident.

Native police, fireplace departments and rescue squads converged at Bluefield, Va. City Corridor for a mass shooter workout routines designed to check their responses and discover any points that wanted to be addressed. In an workplace behind the council chamber, Capt. Randy Ann Davis, director of Tazewell 911, and different personnel had been giving some nursing college students and different volunteers make-up simulating gunshot wounds and blood splatter.

As soon as the volunteers and the taking part businesses had been briefed, they had been prepared for an lively shooter drill on the close by Graham Center Faculty.

Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt mentioned that the July 20 train would assist present first responders react to the various conditions they might encounter throughout a taking pictures. Coping with the shooter or shooters, plus dealing with the medical emergencies, are among the many duties they may have, however different points will come up.

“And what would you do with the mother and father? What would you do with the households coming in? As a result of that’s one thing it’s a must to take care of when households come on the lookout for their family members,” Hieatt mentioned. “You’re making an attempt to regulate the scenario and ensure the shooter will not be nonetheless lively. What occurs when the media comes and is wanting to speak? The place does the media go? In case you’ve by no means executed any drills or any apply for preparedness, it’s simply chaos.”

Tazewell County’s legislation enforcement businesses, fireplace departments and rescue squads periodically have lively shooter drills on the county’s faculties. Hieatt mentioned the objective is to have annual drills, however one wasn’t carried out final 12 months because of the COVID pandemic.

“The final time we did it was within the Richlands space with our Richlands EMS and fireplace and with Clinch Valley Hospital, so our objective is to be doing this in numerous areas with completely different departments; particularly with the sheriff’s workplace the place we work with completely different businesses from one finish of the county to the opposite,” Hieatt mentioned. “We need to have that familiarization working Bluefield Police Division, Richlands Police Division and different businesses.”

Volunteers wore make-up and acted out the roles of gunshot victims to make the train as lifelike as potential.

“We’ve got off-duty 911 dispatchers, highschool nursing college students who’re going to be the victims and other people being mother and father who’re looking for children,” Hieatt mentioned.

Within the city corridor’s again workplace Amanda Pettrey, a nursing college students on the Mercer County Technical Schooling Heart (MCTEC) turned a gunshot sufferer with the assistance of some make-up and stage blood.

“I suppose it’s going to assist us take care of individuals with trauma,” she mentioned.

A Tazewell County 911 dispatcher, Rebeccah Grose, hears emergencies when she handles calls, however she doesn’t see what the EMS personnel and different first responders are witnessing after they arrive on scene.

“It may assist me to know what it (scene) would possibly appear like, and it may assist me image what’s occurring and assist them in a greater approach,” she acknowledged.

Pupil Sierra Smith confirmed different MCTEC college students her new wound and bloodstains.

“How does it really feel?” one among them requested.

“Oh, simply sticky,” she replied.

The nursing college students felt that becoming a member of within the train may assist them perceive the roles they are going to be doing after they end their programs.

“I feel you get an ideal studying expertise about main conditions like this, and also you get to know the best and the mistaken factor to do in conditions,” mentioned pupil Katelynn Edwards.

One other MCTEC nursing pupil, Leslie Hopkins, mentioned she was going to be “an hysterical mum or dad” for the coaching train. It was giving her a have a look at the kind of emergencies she may need to take care of some day. She was seeing the place treating the victims of shootings and different emergencies begins.

“I feel as a nursing pupil, we have to see the whole lot from all sides,” she mentioned. “This can assist us improve our abilities and change into higher nurses.”

Inside Graham Center Faculty, Lt. Ron Holt, college security officer with the Tazewell County Sheriffs’ Officer, stationed the volunteers within the school rooms and hallways, and gave them their directions.

“You don’t have to put down proper now, however you’ll be laying proper there,” he instructed nursing pupil Rae Lynn Woods. “You’ll say, ‘He went that approach. He’s going to harm any individual.’”

Like her classmates, Woods mentioned the dwell shooter drill gave her a have a look at what first responders expertise.

“It offers us a greater understanding of the opposite facet, earlier than they (sufferers) get to us,” she mentioned. “As a result of it’s form of neat to see what they do first.”

— Contact Greg Jordan at [email protected]