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Area agencies participate in full scale training at SCC HS and MS

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St. Croix County emergency support services, in conjunction with the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office and St. Croix Central School District, on Monday, Oct. 17, conducted a full scale training exercise at the St. Croix Central high and middle schools.

At 9 a.m. a simulated call to 9-1-1 triggered a scenario involving an active shooter with victims at St. Croix Central High School. Over the next three hours, more than 250 personnel from 24 area agencies put into practice a coordinated emergency response plan designed to address the active shooter and victims and an organized reunification process.

The training exercise involved locating assailants, evacuating teachers and students, providing medical attention and transportation for the injured, verifying the school was “cleared” of all threats, and establishing a reunification center and coordinating the reunification of students with guardians or parents.

The scale and realistic nature of the training exercise provided officials from Law Enforcement, EMS, fire, hospital and emergency communications, along with school officials, students, and teachers with a challenging environment in which to test their staff, equipment, training, communication, policies and procedures.

Following the conclusion of the exercise, all participants returned to the high school for a lunch and discussion on how the exercise had gone for their individual roles. Evaluations were completed and will be used to improve procedures, policies and tactical skills of all the agencies involved.

Capt. Dan VanSomeren said, “Planning began almost a year ago for this exercise. Investigator Shawn Demulling and I began working on a training scenario which would involve multiple agencies working together in a large scale event. The participation from the St. Croix Central School District was fabulous from the initial meeting all the way to the last safety cone being picked up at the conclusion of [the] scenario. Superintendent Tim Widiker has made planning for the unexpected a priority and we were able to work together with local police chiefs Rick Coltrain and Aaron McWilliams. Emergency management helped us coordinate the training. The success of [the] full scale training exercise is a great example of how all agencies respond and work together in providing the residents of our county with excellent public safety and service.”

St. Croix Central Superintendent Tim Widiker added, “As superintendent, a parent, and a resident I feel more comfortable and prepared for an emergency after this full-scale exercise. I am more comfortable after witnessing how many individuals and organizations are in our community to help, protect and serve and our entire staff is more prepared for a variety of emergencies. I want to thank all the volunteers and participants involved in the exercise for their part in helping make our schools safer and our staff more prepared for an emergency situation.”

St. Croix County Emergency Support Services and the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office recognized the following organizations for their participation: Wisconsin National Guard-New Richmond, Baldwin Area EMS, Western Wisconsin Health, Village of Hammond Public Works, American Red Cross, ARES/RACES, Baldwin Police Department, Glenwood City EMS, Hammond Police Department, New Richmond EMS, New Richmond Police Department, Regions EMS, River Falls Area EMS, River Falls Police Department, Roberts/Warren Fire Department, Spring Valley Area EMS, Spring Valley Police Department, St. Croix Central School District, St. Croix County, St. Croix Sheriff Office Chaplains, St. Croix Sheriff’s Office, United Fire & Rescue, Village of Hammond, Village of Roberts, Village of Woodville, WI State Patrol, Wisconsin Emergency Management, WITC, Woodville Police Department, West Central Wisconsin Regional Trauma Advisory Council (RTAC) and Northwest Wisconsin Healthcare Coalition.

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