Campbell officials practice to be prepared for real emergencies

Campbell County officials practice to be prepared for real emergencies

Posted:
"We don't ever want anything like that to happen here again," said Goins about a 2005 school shooting. "We don't ever want anything like that to happen here again," said Goins about a 2005 school shooting.
Elk Valley Elementary in Pioneer served as the site for an emergency response drill. Elk Valley Elementary in Pioneer served as the site for an emergency response drill.
Friday's event was the first county-wide emergency response drill in Campbell County. Friday's event was the first county-wide emergency response drill in Campbell County.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

PIONEER (WATE) - An elementary school in Campbell County was on lockdown Friday morning, but it was only because of a drill by emergency responders.

Elk Valley Elementary in Pioneer served as the site for an emergency response drill. The activity was spearheaded by the Campbell County Sheriff's Department.

The county was touched by a real tragic event at one of its schools in 2005.

An assistant principal was shot dead and two other administrators were wounded at Campbell County Comprehensive High School when a 14-year-old freshman brought a pistol to school to trade for drugs.

"It's bad and we don't ever want anything like that to happen here again," Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins about that day.

The 2005 shooting is why Campbell County emergency responders hosted the drill Friday.

The scenario for the drill was that a bomb had been planted at Elk Valley and several hostages were being held inside.

Emergency crews debriefed at a nearby staging area before heading to the school.

"Our SWAT team will go in, make entry, make the building safe, then we'll have several victims that have to be transported to local hospitals," Sheriff Goins described for the drill.

The drill was a collaboration between the county's law enforcement agencies, fire crews, EMS and Campbell County Schools.

"We stay abreast of all the proper procedures for a tragedy," said Campbell County Director of Schools William Baird. "I think it'll make a major difference in how we deal with it if it does happen."

Working hand-in-hand on lifelike simulations will help the different agencies coordinate as a team when faced with a real life emergency.

"This today gives us an opportunity to work alongside fire departments, EMS, school teachers, the school system," said Sheriff Goins.

The teams also worked on response time, knowing that they could be working in a rural part of the county.

Sheriff Goins says when an incident happen in rural areas, like where Elk Valley Elementary is located, it can take emergency crews a long time to get to the site.

Team members hope by training with drills such as the one Friday, they can cut down on their response time.

"It's important to know how quick we can get here," said Goins.

Although no participant wants to face a situation like the shooting at the high school, taking time out to train together helps keep Campbell County students safe from harm.

"It takes us all working together to make sure these kids are kept safe," said Baird.

Friday's event was the first county-wide emergency response drill in Campbell County.

Officials hope to have another in a few months.

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