SANDY CREEK — Emergency services personnel from Oswego County including volunteer fire departments, emergency medical services, as well as state police and DEC, participated in an active shooter drill at the Sandy Creek Elementary School on July 9.
“It’s a two-day training, day one is in the classroom for law enforcement, today is the practical exercise,” said Oswego County sheriff Don Hilton. “EMS, firefighters, were trained off-site previously, and are here for day two.”
Communications was an important focus for all agencies during the drill.
“If you read after-action reports, communications is often an issue,” said the sheriff. “The director of the Oswego County 911 center developed a communications plan to tie in all agencies and radio frequencies so we can talk to each other.”
Another focus, better managing how agencies respond to and enter the scenario.
“We’ve added elements to our training as a county,” he said. “We’ve asked fire chiefs and EMS to establish the command post, take on that responsibility. In reality, in an active shooter situation, law enforcement is going to be too busy to do that right away.”
“It’s worked out well for us in training,” he added. “We always hope to not need to use it, but we are training on it, that’s important.”
This is the first year the county has trained with these added elements.
Additionally, Syracuse Area Disaster Drill Actors played a large, and realistic, role as victims. Many of the actors have training in emergency response which they stated helps when trying to portray a true emergency of this magnitude.
Trainings at the school will occur a few more times throughout the summer to allow all personnel the opportunity to participate.