Hoquiam Police Chief Myers put out a notice and press release Tuesday afternoon in regards to a large-scale active shooter drill that will be taking place this weekend at the Grays Harbor Colledge in Aberdeen. it is only a drill and not real life active situation.
At the request of Grays Harbor College, US Homeland Security Region 3, which encompasses Grays Harbor, Thurston, Pacific, Mason and Lewis Counties, will be hosting an “Active Shooter” response drill on the Grays Harbor college campus this Saturday, April 28, 2018.
Preparation for the drill will start early in the morning with access restricted to the upper campus area for most of the day. There will be staging for the participating law enforcement and fire/ EMS agencies in the parking lots at the Shoppes at Riverside in the 1000 block of South Boone Street in Aberdeen. This “Active Shooter” drill is a continuation of exercises designed to practice response skills and coordinate interaction between law enforcement and fire/ emergency medical service agencies.
The last full-scale exercise was held in Elma in December 2016. This drill on Saturday at the college campus will incorporate agencies from not only Grays Harbor, but also law enforcement and medical personnel from surrounding counties.
Financial and organizational support for this drill is being provided by US Homeland Security as it is a regional exercise.
The purpose of the drill is to practice the interface between the law enforcement response to an active shooter with advanced fire/ EMS protocols designed to quickly locate and extract victims. The intent is for regional law enforcement and fire/ EMS agencies to practice organizing their response to an active shooter incident. This drill is designed to test Incident Command concepts, communication challenges, efficient and effective use of available local resources and to help train first-responders.
This exercise will also include Grays Harbor Community Hospital so they can practice their mass casualty protocols; there is no anticipated impact to regular patient care or services.
Volunteers will be used to simulate an active shooter scenario at the college campus. Citizens should expect numerous emergency vehicles, loud sounds and a pronounced police and fire personnel presence between the mall and the upper college campus area. Law enforcement and fire participants will not be moving at full speed, but citizens may see emergency vehicles responding with lights and sirens at times.
There is no reason for alarm or concern; however, citizens are asked to stay clear of the event as the drill area will be kept secure for the safety of all the participants.
Local government, school, media and community officials are invited to attend the drill as observers so long as they are checked-in with the drill Incident Management Team in advance. Please contact a Public Information Officer to make arrangements.