Eight Lancaster County emergency agencies participate in ‘realistic’ active shooter training

The training was held at Indian Land High School on Tuesday and Thursday of this week.
This realistic training is trying to get all emergency responders in the county to work together and know their roles should an actual school shooting happen.
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 5:18 PM EDT
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INDIAN LAND, S.C. (WBTV) - People passing by Indian Land High School driving down Charlotte Highway saw dozens of emergency vehicles parked in the lot.

There was no real danger, but that does not mean the emergency responders cannot prepare for it.

An active shooter training took place at Indian Land High School Tuesday and Thursday this week. The school was closed to the public these days as dozens of emergency responders descended on the school.

This realistic training is trying to get all emergency responders in the county to work together and know their roles should an actual active shooter come into a school.

This training is only happening here at Indian Land High School, but the sheriff said they are working the scenarios over and over again, so they can get the fundamentals down and apply them to any school in the county.

”The only thing more real than this would be an actual situation,” Bryan Vaughn, Director of Transportation and Safety, said.

Related: Union Co. deputies participate in ‘active threat’ training, responding to armed person inside school

That blood curdling scream might sound real, but it is only for show. In the minds of the emergency responders though—this is basically the real deal.

”I really truly believe that going into this school year, we’re better prepared than we ever have been,” Vaughn said.

Part of that confidence is coming from this active shooter training. From sheriff’s deputies to the coroners, everyone playing their role to know exactly what do.

All the agencies here included Lancaster County Emergency Medical Services, Lancaster County Fire-Rescue, the Lancaster Fire Department, the Lancaster County Coroner’s Office, the Lancaster County Emergency Management Division, Lancaster County Public Safety Communications, the Lancaster County School District, and the Lancaster County Parks and Recreation Department.

”When people bring their kids to school, their expecting their kids to come back home in the evening. It’s our responsibility to make sure those kids are safe, those teachers are safe,” Sheriff Faile said.

The stressful, intense scenarios get as real as they can be. Volunteers acted as scared students and sometimes even victims.

”We want to make it as realistic as we can to put these officers under stress so when the real thing happens we have the basic fundamentals down and we respond in the correct way,” he said.

While this training started years ago, Vaughn said the Uvalde school shootings did stir up a desire to do more.

”The news clips, the video. I read the reports that they’ve released so far and you know it is very disheartening and very disturbing to see those images,” Vaughn said.

After seeing this training with his own eyes, there’s no doubt in his mind the stall in Uvalde would not happen here.

”I have every confidence in the world that if something like that happened in our county, I think our local officials have a good plan to address it and I truly believe we would not see a duplication of that,” he said.

Sheriff Faile said he does not have enough deputies to be SROs in the schools. All middle and high schools have SROs but elementary schools do not.

He said they are working on improving that situation and believe the sheriff’s office has competitive pay to continue recruitment.

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