Westside Elementary School were filled with volunteers and rescue members on Saturday, 11/2/19 as they got ready for an active threat training drill session. They simulated an upset employee that confronted the main school office staff. In a matter of moments, chaos broke out around 13:05 when a simulated shooter opened fire, leaving mass destruction in his path. Moments after multiple shots rang out; school lockdown procedures were activated and the potential shooting victims could be heard throughout the front hallway. As officers with the Smithfield Police Department and Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Department arrived on scene; they find themselves involved searching for the active threat person. The officers searched the area and found that the shooter had left the scene and ensured that the area was safe for EMS/ Fire crews to tend to any and all downed victims.
Smithfield Vol. Fire, Isle of Wight Vol. Rescue Squad, Surry Vol. Rescue Squad, Sentara Nightingale and some from the IWVRS EMT class arrived to treat those injuries based on the Mass Casualty Incident guidelines. Those injuries were depicted graphically through the creative efforts to make the scene look realistic. Twenty-four patients were processed and moved by medic units, with one individual moved to Sentara Nightingale helicopter.
This entire scene was scripted out for training purposes for our area departments and the unified team work between our Fire, EMS, and Law Enforcement. But the same scene has played out in real life all too often, and local authorities want to be prepared in the event the unthinkable happens here.