AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Amarillo Office of Emergency Management held an active shooter training exercise today.
About 30 different first responding agencies and over 1,500 people participated at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) .
"It all comes together so we can keep our skills on par for hazards that we could see in the area," said Jesse Patton, Amarillo Interim Director of Public Communications and Community Engagement. "We don't want to see an active shooter situation in the area, but it is a possibility and we want to be prepared for it."
A city wide exercise like this is held at least once a year where all police, fire and EMS agencies practice responding not only to active shooting or bomb threats, but also severe weather disasters.
This exercise was especially important for law enforcement and firefighters, as the firefighters were guided by officers into the building to aid the injured.
"This gave fire and law enforcement the opportunity to work together," said Captain Larry Davis, Amarillo Fire Department. "We have a joint command system out here. It really helps us coordinate on what we are going to be doing."
Area students and faculty also joined the drill and Texas Tech's emergency operations committee was able to put the schools plans into action.
"We have plans in place, and this allows us to see how our plan will work with the city's plan," said Mark Hendricks, TTUHSC Communications Specialist. I'm sure we will go back and make some adjustments to our plan. From what I have seen, it seems to get better every year. It's the kind of thing you can't always prepare for, but this allows people to be as prepared as they can be."
Responders and safety committees will now work together to discuss what they can do better for a real life incident and will soon prepare another challenge.