Albion Middle School Emergency Drill
Written by Dan Fischer on March 14, 2019
On March 12, 2019 at 9:00am The Albion Police Department conducted a Full Scale Exercise at the Albion Middle School. The exercise was conducted to evaluate the preparedness, response, tactical, and decision-making abilities of Law Enforcement, Fire and Ems Responders. The exercise was designed to simulate high-stress conditions and to incorporate as much realism as possible.
A committee of top level responders and commanders was formed to organize the drill. The U.S. Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) was utilized in the drill planning. Through the use of HSEEP, exercise program managers were able to develop, execute, and evaluate the exercise that addressed the priorities established by the committee.
Objectives were established to evaluate the response and mitigation to an Active Shooter at the Albion Middle School by Law Enforcement, Fire/EMS, Command, Dispatch and School Staff. Several Exercise Controllers and Evaluators were utilized to record the exercise and evaluate the response. The Controllers and Evaluators used were from agencies inside and outside of Orleans County whom held advanced specialties in the areas they were assigned to evaluate.
The Responders and School Staff Role players were given no previous direction or instruction as to make the exercise as real as possible. In an effort to simulate realism Police, Fire and EMS units were staged and were not allowed to respond to the school until they were dispatched and then held until the appropriate times had passed to simulate actual real times.
The exercise began when role players acting as suspicious persons were observed inside the school causing school staff to alert the 911 center which initiated a Police Response. As Law Enforcement arrived on scene gunfire occurred inside the school prompting a full multi agency Law Enforcement response.
Command was established and additional Police, Fire and EMS resources were called to the scene to deal with multiple suspects and 18 injured persons with high and low levels of injuries.
The exercise plan called for over 24 Objectives to be evaluated using the HSEEP Exercise Evaluation Guide. These evaluations along with the Feedback Forms completed by over 400 Exercise Participants ranging from Commanders, Responders, Role Players, Controllers, Facilitators and Evaluators will be compiled and an Exercise After Action Report will be produced.
The After Action Report will help responders build on the skills they tested during this exercise to make an effective and efficient response even better in the future.
No matter how good we do during an exercise, there is always a need to evaluate and perform at a higher level, regardless of what discipline you are in during an Incident of this magnitude. We are much better today thanks to this exercise and the hard work of many involved with it.
This exercise would not have been possible without the assistance of many individuals from many agencies. Below is a list of agencies involved in the exercise as both responders and exercise support staff that assisted as Controllers, Facilitators, Evaluators and Technical Advisers.
Photographs provided by Albion Police Dept.