PADUCAH, Ky. (9/6/13) – Faculty, staff and students at West Kentucky Community and Technical College know a little more about how they might react if a shooter came on the campus. The college went on lockdown for about two hours during a mock active shooter drill Thursday, September 5.
Even though she knew it was a drill, nursing student Courtney Coleman of Graves County couldn’t help but still be apprehensive as she listened to the sounds of simulated gunfire and police officials swarming outside her classroom in the Allied Health Building.
“It was pretty real when they were shooting right outside our door so my heart was actually racing then, even though I knew it was fake, said Coleman. “But I think it helped us and also the responders because they know what to do if something did happen.”
In some classrooms, faculty and students heard knocks on the doors with voices asking for the door to be opened. “It was good for us because if it really happened, we know not to open the door for anybody until we got the “all clear” from someone official,” said fellow nursing student Kayla Delapp of Graves County.
The drill scenario had four mock shooters, one make-believe sniper outside the Allied Health Building in a wooded area and three fake gunmen inside the building. WKCTC nursing faculty provided the make-up to create the realistic look of the ten simulated victims of the mock gunmen.
Local law enforcement agencies, emergency personnel, the college's crisis management team, campus security and WKCTC students, faculty and college staff participated in the exercise.
"The purpose of the exercise was to provide participants the opportunity to respond and evaluate critical decisions and actions that are necessary to protect and save lives in the event of an active shooter event on campus," said Steve Orazine, WKCTC's Director of Security. “This showed everyone who participated what could happen, what might happen and what to do in case it does happen.”
It was the second time the college had conducted in a mock emergency drill. “We have employees on campus as well as students who weren’t here the first time we had a full mock-up drill, so this was their first experience,” Orazine said. “This drill gave them an idea that should a real situation occur - how to react and hopefully they will instinctively act to keep themselves and others safe.”
The drill didn’t go perfectly, but important lessons were learned, Orazine said. “You’re going to find mistakes in every drill; that’s what the drills are for – to correct your mistakes before the real thing happens. And on that basis, the drill went great.”
Information provided by Tammy Thompson
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