CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – In just a few weeks, students will head back to class throughout Central Virginia.
But before they do, law enforcement in Chesterfield County, preparing for the worst.
8News was there Saturday for an active shooter drill.
Over the radio communication, emergency officials sent out the call: “O.B. Gates Elementary school. Priority one for an active shooter. Teachers heard gunshots. Possible multiple shooters.”
That call came in around 9:30 Saturday morning, and multiple law enforcement agencies responded within minutes.
“Make sure our communication runs well,” Lieutenant Jason Elmore of the Chesterfield Fire Department EMS said. “Our strategy and tactics that our folks have been working on for a long time will all go smoothly in the event that we have an incident of this nature.”
Dozens of Chesterfield County police officers along with sheriff’s deputies ran into O.B. Gates Elementary ready to apply their training.
“Depending upon on what our responders do things may change within the incident,” Elmore said.
Roughly 400 people took part in the exercise. A crowd gathered outside the school, family and friends waiting to hear about loved ones.
“We do train together,” Elmore said. “We are doing what’s best for the community.”
Community members acting as students run single file out of the school.
Injured people are assisted by law enforcement and treated on scene by EMS. A woman received a bandage on her leg, while others are wheeled out on stretchers.
The goal of Saturday exercise, communicate and work together.
“We hope that we never have to have something like this but we want to make sure we come and we’re prepared if it does occur in the county,” Elmore said.
After a mass shooting on Valentine’s Day at a Florida high school, Chesterfield County created a school safety task force to take a look at how safe the schools are and what changes could be made.