East Texas school stages active shooter drill so 'we can be prep - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texas school stages active shooter drill so 'we can be prepared, save lives'

Mt.Pleasant Jr. High during drill. (Source: KLTV News source) Mt.Pleasant Jr. High during drill. (Source: KLTV News source)
MOUNT PLEASANT, TX (KLTV) -

On the heels of the Oregon shooting yesterday, an "active shooter' drill was held at an East Texas school district.

Emergency and first responder team members converged on Mount Pleasant junior high today in a real time drill, that incorporates military precision and teamwork, to combat a gunman-hostage scenario.

Multiple East Texas agencies joined forces at the junior high school for a real-time drill, simulating a gunman and possible hostages inside.

"I think that they're vitally important. We pray to God that we never have to use the skills that we develop here," said Mount Pleasant ISD information officer Judith Saxton.

Part of the drill is real-time. Realistically, not all first responders can get to the scene at the same time, so responders have to find out how quickly can they get to the scene from wherever they are.

Using military-style armor and tactics, the team meets force with overwhelming force.

"Unfortunately, this is something we're seeing more and more of, or so it seems, and it's extremely important that we all know how to work together," says Longview ISD Information Officer Adam Holland.

What is most important for small East Texas communities is to be able to draw on regional resources to come together as an efficient responding unit.

"If we're prepared, then we can save lives. In a crisis, you don’t have time to think, you have to know, and these drills help us know what to do if something happens," Saxton said.

The drill concluded with the gunmen being neutralized, and all remaining staff and children were escorted from the building.

"Going through some of this in the event that there is any such incident, it gives you a little more confidence," Holland said. "If we're not prepared, then bad things can happen."

Summer classes at the junior high were let out today so the drill could be staged.

People who were inside the school played the parts of shooters and victims.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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