By Seth Littrell
Register News Writer
MADISON COUNTY —
“BFD responded to a dumpster fire outside, two firemen have been shot,”
Those words blaring out of dispatch radios marked the start of an “active shooter” training exercise on Berea College’s campus Thursday afternoon.
Every law enforcement agency in Madison County participated in the drill, which simulated a shooter and hostage situation on school grounds.
Sgt. Jake Reed, Berea police spokesperson, said the exercise was designed to test a number of potential issues, such as police protocol, reaction times and inter-agency communication.
The training was organized by the Madison County Emergency Management Agency and the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program.
While students on the campus were made aware that the exercise was going to happen, Reed said classes went on as normal to ensure the drill was as realistic as possible.
BPD officers and actors portraying shooters and fired airsoft guns at each other from close range. The guns resemebled weapons likely to be use in real-life situation.
The action was observed and critiqued by EMA/CSEPP staff, as well as local law enforcement officials, including BPD Chief David Gregory and RPD Chief Larry Brock.
After the exercise, participating agencies gathered informally for an initial review known as a “hot wash” to compare wat observers thought were strengths and weaknesses displayed by the responders.
More indepth findings will be complied into a formal report by EMA/CSEPP, said Kelley McBride, the agency’s bublic affairs officer.