Oakland officials hold practice emergency response drill

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- On Friday, the Oakland Fire Department hosted a multi-agency "Responding to Violent Incidents" Training at Oakland High School. The drill simulated an active shooter situation at the school. Officials held live tactical exercises with students.

The purpose of this exercise was to provide an opportunity for fire, police, and EMS to collaborate and train together, increasing intra-agency operational efficiency when dealing with active shooter incidents.

Officials are preparing for a situation where there's a shooter on the loose on campus and there are several victims. Law enforcement needs to make the situation safe and emergency crews need to help the gunshot victims.

"It seemed like a really good idea and who doesn't want to be injured and run around school and get fake blood on them?" student Mercedes Hawkins said.

Emergency responders say with the number of school shootings we have seen happen across the country, it makes sense to practice in case it happens here. And they want to try out a new tactic. In the past, paramedics have waited until law enforcement said it was safe to go in, which cost their victims precious time.

"Nationally there is a transition to going in with law enforcement, not right there at the very front, but sort of behind them in what we would call the warm zone," Oakland Battalion Chief Robert Lipp said.

These students say they really appreciate the emergency teams for holding this drill.

"I think this is a really great idea with all the recent school shootings, I'm really happy, our district school and city trying to make sure they're prepared if anything should happen," Hawkins said.

The good news is, these teens are having fun participating in the drill. They are very aware they could find themselves in this situation.

"It is scary and I don't want it to happen but I want to be prepared when it does," student Anabelle Salanga said.

Firefighters say they appreciate the kids participating in the drill because it makes it feel more realistic.

The agencies that participated in the exercise include the Oakland Fire Department, Piedmont Fire Department, Oakland Police Department, Oakland Schools Police, Oakland Unified School District, Paramedics Plus, and the Alameda County EMS Authority.
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