Austin High School To Be Scene of Active Shooter Training

Posted at: 02/12/2013 7:01 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It’s quiet now, but on Wednesday it’s going to look like a building under siege.

It’s the ultimate training exercise.

"When the officers get there they don't know the exact scenarios they'll be going into until they actually get there," said Austin police chief Brian Krueger.

What we do know is that Wednesday night's exercise will simulate an active shooter inside Austin High School.

“We will have actors or students playing the part of victims and possible suspects," police chief Brian Krueger explained.

The drill will include Austin police, Mower County sheriff's deputies, fire fighters, EMS and ambulance crews and police officers from around the county. It's the kind of training exercise emergency responders do every couple of years. This one just happens to come two months after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school.

"It’s important for Austin high school and the school district, but I think equally important is what the community learns from this and what do they need to do to be more prepared in case something like this should ever happen," said AHS principal Brad Bergstrom.

Participants have already gone through a one hour class leading up to Wednesday's exercise.

"To basically get that mindset that once you do arrive you need to act and not wait for fellow officers or wait for the entire SIRT team or SWAT team to arrive," police chief Brian Krueger said.

And Austin highs school could represent any number of buildings in the community

"We've got 13 different entries into this building, 37 doors that if you waited for everybody to get here, the potential damage could be extensive," principal Brad Bergstrom explained.

“It'll be a good training event for all those involved. Very realistic," said police chief Brian Krueger

“We learn what works, what doesn't work and you find the cracks or the seams that you can then fix," principal Brad Bergstrom added.

Wednesday is an early release day in the Austin school district. Most of the drill will take place between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday.