Active Shooter Integrated Response Exercise
Editors Note This story was originally scheduled to run in last week's edition, but was delayed while we obtained permission to use some of the photos with minors. The name of the school where the exercise took place has been omitted at the request of the school district.
The Dripping Springs’ Precinct 4 Constable’s office took part in an “Active Shooter Integrated Response Exercise” at a local public school on Jul. 23.
The exercise included the participation of Hays County Constables Pct. 1, 2, 4, and 5; Hays County Sheriff’s Office; DPS; North Hays Fire/Rescue; and EMS San Marcos. The exercise also included observers from the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, Homeland Security, Hays County Office of Emergency Management, Emergency Management Commission from the City of Dripping Springs, Dripping Springs ISD, Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Hays County CRT, and Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace John Burns.
Standing in for victims and suspects were volunteer Dripping Springs ISD students. Other students filmed the exercises as part of their media training.
The purpose of the exercise was to train an integrated response between agencies in the event of an active shooter event. “Because of these types of exercises, officers learn to work, not only with each other, but with teams from other first responders like Fire and EMS,” Pct. 4 Constable Ron Hood said. “We train to go into the building to find, isolate, and neutralize the shooter if necessary, as other teams go in and secure areas so that medical personnel can go in and treat, and remove victims from the scene. By doing these types of training, we not only accelerate our response time, but we also eliminate ‘blue on blue’ incidents. Simply put, our goal is to stop the killing, stop the dying, and evacuate the injured.”
The first responders trained in multiple scenarios throughout the day, with after-action debriefings after each exercise.
“The day was an opportunity for us to hone our skills and our expectations on how we respond. Overall it was a success, however, there is always room for improvement when it comes to life and death,” Constable Hood said.