Numerous local law enforcement, emergency services and other agencies came together Tuesday morning to perform the first ever full-scale active shooter drill in Grayson County.
The event, which was carried out at Grayson County Middle School, included two volunter ‘shooters’ armed with guns which shot simulation rounds, as well as numerous volunteers who were designated as either critically or mildly wounded victims.
The scene may have alarmed some passerby as fire trucks blocked off side streets, armed deputies guarded the perimeter, paramedics set up a make-shift care center at the rear of the building, and detention center officers blocked school exits, and law enforcement neutralize the ‘shooters.’
Special simulation bullets were used in the exercise during which the volunteer shooters and Leitchfield Police Officers exchanged fire. Officers neutralized the shooters before the wounded were carried out of the building.
Lead officers accounted for all possible real-life situations, including sending officers to handle parents gathering outside the school and paramedics being directed to set up an area for emergency helicopters to land.
After being assessed on-scene by Grayson County Emergency Medical Services paramedics, more than 20 mock victims were transported to Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center where ER staff were able to practice for the type of patient overflow that could occur at their facility in such a situation.
School administrators shared a role in the drill as well. Following the event, middle school principal Jim Blain said, “I was impressed with how the different agencies worked so well together. Everyone was involved, and that’s the value of a drill like this.”
Leitchfield Police Chief Kevin Henderson headed up the operation, as his officers arrived first on scene.
Assisting the LPD were the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, Kentucky State Police, Grayson County Detention Center, Grayson County Emergency Medical Services, Grayson County Emergency Management, area constables, multiple local volunteer fire departments, Grayson County School District and Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center.
GCMS assistant principal David Whitmore, who was also on-hand Tuesday said, “This was the most involved drill we have ever had. It went well, but it also raised some questions.”
Whitmore said that all agencies involved will have an opportunity to discuss ways to improve protocol in the event of a real-life incident.
“There are a few things we can improve,” said Chief Henderson, who noted that the practice run helped them to realize that law enforcement needed copies of keys to the schools’ interior doors for emergency situations.
Henderson went onto say that some of the kinks from previous drills had been worked out, and that EMS responded “perfectly” to the incident.