First responders and NACS staff train for school shooting

Huntertown firefighters carry a student while others watch during a school shooting drill at Carroll High School.

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Firefighters, police and school administrators experienced simulated school shootings Saturday and learned how to work together to get aid to their students during an active shooter incident.

The Huntertown Fire Department worked with the Allen County Sheriff’s Department and Northwest Allen County Schools at Carroll High School.

Three scenarios were played out.

The final included several challenges the first responders were confronted with in addition to what they experienced in the first two. It started with the sound of gunshots and a call to 911.

“If someone tells you they are 100% prepared for something like this, they’re not.” NACS Chief Operations Officer John Mills said. “We’re continually working to improve our plans and become as prepared as we possibly can.”

Police cleared the way for firefighters to get to students while the shooter was still active. Firefighters decided if the students could walk out with them, be carried out by them or if they were dead and were passed over.

.”The community relies on us to make sure that we respond, do it quickly, and we get patients treated and transported as quickly as we can,” Huntertown Fire Chief Mike Feely explained.

Real Carroll students were used in the training, playing either injured or dead victims. Some of the police and firefighters’ students go to Carroll.

“They understand the current setting of society and the possibilities and they want to contribute helping our first responders be prepared as well,” Mills added.

Many of the students started the training laughing at the makeup and fake screams, but once the first responders got to work, the smiles faded.

“It’s definitely something I would never want someone to go through,” Carroll student Grace Hanna said. “It was fake, but like the real situation, I just don’t think people will be able to fully recover from that.”

“Imagine that you have a SWAT guy in your building coming, you’re not going to be messing around,” Micah Fretz added. “It’s life or death and I don’t think some kids understand that.”

“This is something that someone should never have to go through,” Emma Messer said of the situation. “It’s very very scary,”

NewsChannel 15 live streamed the entire third scenario. You can watch it here, on facebook.