York Co holds second day of active shooter training drill at mid - | WBTV Charlotte

York Co holds second day of active shooter training drill at middle school

Kristi O'Connor/WBTV Kristi O'Connor/WBTV
YORK, SC (WBTV) -

Thursday was the second day of the largest active shooter drill the York County Sheriff’s Office has ever held.

This time, WBTV was given full access to see how officers would respond to a possible gunman situation who opened fire inside York Middle School.

The drill encompassed York County Police, York County Sheriff’s Office, York County Emergency Management, EMS and the school district. Each of the agencies have been going through active shooter exercises since Columbine, but have never done a drill together.

The goal was to find a way for all of the agencies to work together, whether an active shooter situation would occur in real life.

"It’s a sad reality, but if we ignore that reality, we aren’t doing a service to anybody,” Sheriff Kevin Tolson said.

The drill started at 9:30 a.m., but response times for officers were staggered to simulate the idea of officers spread around the county.

The SWAT team did not arrive until at least an hour after the drill begun. Therefore, all of the officers were expected to be trained to respond to an active shooter situation. 

“"We don't have the time to organize that team, deploy them, get them on scene and make entry," Tolson said.

Their first goal was to get to the gunmen, then check on victims by performing a sweep of the building. The officers had to work closely with EMS to get the victims out of the school. 

EMS then sorted the victims based on the urgency of their injury.

The school district also came into play by coordinating how children would be reunited with their families in a safe location.

All of this was going on while agency leaders coordinated and watched how the situation played out from a command post.

The agencies were pleased about how the first active shooting drill involving the multiple agencies performed, but said several things needed to be worked on before the drill becomes seamless.

The agencies plan to continue the full-scale active shooter drills in years to come, but plan to hold drills in other locations rather than just schools.

Another active drill occurred Tuesday at York County Middle School. 

RELATED: York County Sheriff's Office prepares for active shooter in mock scenario

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