Active Shooter Drill Puts First Responders To Test

GHS active shooter drill

Local first responders and medical students are testing their readiness in life-threatening events. It’s part of Greenville Health System’s 4th annual emergency preparedness exercise.

They chose scenarios that have become all too common.

Dr. Tom Blackwell, Professor of Emergency Medicine, leads the training.

“If we have a disgruntled employee, or student or patient or who knows what, just come through our front door,” said Dr. Blackwell, “we’re gonna be better prepared to handle that here.”

That meant, preparing to handle an active shooter. In Friday’s drill, medical students and volunteers acted as the victims.

Second year medical student Jessica Williams played a combative patient who heckled the first responders.

“These are patients we’re gonna see in real life. Not everyone’s gonna be your nice complacent patient where you’ll be able to help them very easily. You have to be able to work with a diverse population,” said Williams.

Greenville Health System and the University Of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville hosted the training to test the readiness of local first responders in life-threatening scenarios, which also included several mock car wrecks.

It’s a scenario the emergency crews see often and lessons students were grasping for the first time.

“We’ve been practicing in lab, very simulated and it wasn’t as high stakes as this was. And so it was something new and something exciting we hadn’t experienced before,” said Kelsey Williams, a first year medical students.

Along with local police, deputies, firefighters and medical students, more than 170 volunteers from local colleges and high schools played the victims as well to make the drill possible.

The details are kept a secret so the students and first responders don’t always know what to expect.

This was the 4th year for the training and they plan to do it again next year.


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