On Thursday, January 24th, the Camden County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) brought together Camden County Schools, the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, Camden County Fire Rescue, as well as Kingsland and St. Marys police and fire officials for an intensive training exercise to prepare them to respond a potential active shooter incident. As the number of such incidents continue to increase in schools around the nation, local leaders seek to be better prepared for these possibilities.
“Active shooter incidents are a reality and no community is immune from it happening,” said Camden County EMA Director Chuck White. “The exercise tests the systems in place for response and cooperation among all responding agencies and is just one example of the ever growing partnership amongst stakeholder organizations in our community.”
The tabletop exercise, provided participants with a real-world scenario designed to test both the school system and all public safety agencies in their ability to operate as part of a multi-agency response to a large scale critical incident.
The exercise focused on the critical decisions that would need to be made in the first minutes, hours, and days following a large-scale event. Among the issues discussed and exercised were:
- Coordinating the large-scale response by law enforcement to any active shooter event;
- Coordinating Fire and Emergency medical response;
- Communicating quickly and effectively with parents and the public on the situation, and need for them to remain away from the incident location;
- Establishing an area away from the incident where parents could be reunited with their children; and
- Command, Control, and interoperable communications between all response agencies.
“Yesterday’s exercise, as well as stand-up of the newly formed Camden County Area Public Safety Committee, which includes Camden County Schools, Camden County Sheriff’s Office, Camden County Fire Rescue, and Kingsland and St Marys police and fire officials, will continue to provide a broad range of support to Camden County Schools and our overall community in the areas of planning, intelligence sharing, risk assessments, resources and training,” White added.