PARKERSBURG - Local law enforcement agencies, fire departments and other first responders held a disaster drill this week of a mock school shooting at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
The drill ran from about 9-11 a.m. Wednesday. Planning for the disaster drill began in late March when WVU-P contacted local agencies to participate. The college's theater department coordinated volunteers to act as victims.
"We try to make the victims' wounds look as realistic as possible," said theater instructor Jeff Byrd. "I placed fake blood splatters in various locations on campus. We had a few fatalities and some other victims with superficial wounds."
Photo courtesy of WVU-P
Officers move to secure a building Wednesday at West Virginia University at Parkersburg during a mock shooting.
The Wood County Sheriff's Office coordinated with the Parkersburg Police Department and state police to develop a scenario for the drill involving three shooters and a dozen victims. However, first responders were not told the scenario in advance.
"This is an opportunity to provide training to our officers and see how they perform in a situation like this," said Capt. Rick Woodyard, Wood County Sheriff's Office. "It also allows us to evaluate our procedures and the corrections that need to be made. Overall, the scenario went well. All three shooters were dealt with, and EMS was able to tend to the victims on scene."
College officials were pleased that people on campus followed safety procedures and stayed in their secure areas. Because blank ammunition was used, students were not permitted in the main building during the drill.
"Our campus safety committee will meet to discuss any issues that may have occurred. These drills serve to train our faculty and staff and also to discover problems and address them," said Katie Wootton, WVU-P director of marketing and communications. "We will certainly look at additional ways of getting the message out there to ensure the safety of our employees and students."