Medford School District conducts multi-agency safety drill | SchoolWatch | #schoolsaftey

MEDFORD, Ore. —  At about 9 a.m., staff with the Medford School District came together to create a mock drill of how to properly handle an active shooter incident at a school.

The drill began with an alarm coming from the school building about there being a lockdown, alerting residents in the neighborhood. After the alarm sounded multiple times, Medford Police officers began running into the building to find the shooters, any staff, or students.

“An exercise of this nature and of this scope is where we got to put ourselves into that uncomfortable zone and exercise those things we don’t normally get to do,” said Ron Havniear, the director of security for the Medford School District.

Soon after, the SWAT team ran into the building. Actors were also waving their hands back and forth, yelling “Help!” on the roof of the school.

Throughout the drill, more than 30 organizations participated.

“We built muscle memory about what it looks like when you hear an ER-B button pushed and what that sounds like when you’re on the outside,” said Bret Champion, the superintendent for Medford School District.

Once the actor shooters were found and arrested, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) from Providence and Asante took out staff and students who were injured or suffered from gunshot wounds. People participating in this scene were covered with fake blood and injuries from make-up artists.

Justin Ivens, the Chief of Police for the Medford Police said like in a real-life incident, not everything went perfectly.

“We had a communication problem with our radios, and we worked through it,” said Ivens. “The reconviction process is gonna be difficult. That’s the way it’s gonna be in real life.”

The drill showcased every detail, including parents being reunited with their children. Ryan Hutchinson, the on-call administrator for the Providence Medical Center, said working with minors can be a difficult situation, especially alerting parents whose children were transported to the hospital.

“In this type of situation really, it’s working with law enforcement because it was a crime scene,” Hutchinson said. “Working with law enforcement as far as who is unaccounted for.”

The Medford School District plans on expanding this type of drill throughout the Rogue Valley.

Mariah Hill is a news producer/reporter at NewsWatch 12. You can reach Mariah at [email protected].

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