More than 200 Sarasota County School District principals and administrators watched as emergency response personnel staged a scenario this morning at Riverview High School.
An actor playing a shooter shot blanks before a SWAT team responded in taking him down. Simultaneously, a pipe bomb went off in the distance and student actors took their positions in the courtyard playing wounded victims. EMTs rushed in with stretchers and quickly attended to the student victims whose wounds were made to look real with makeup.
Armed police enforcement guarded EMT personal and victims. Emergency personal placed a suspicious package in the courtyard, as well, that blew up when a bomb-disseminating robot touched it.
Sarasota Military Academy Freshman Nathalie Rodriguez Solano played a victim during the exercise and says she was a little scared even in a scenario situation.
“The purpose is when this actually occurs you can be prepared and know what to do,” Solano said, “I was actually kind of scared and excited at the same time because I didn’t know what was going to happened. They actually treated us like real patients, so that was kind of exciting “
The program was part of the school district’s annual Summer Leadership Institute. The exercise is put on to give school officials practice in managing a potential security threats. Teachers participate in demonstrations, and security activities throughout the day to prepare.
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Fire Department, Emergency Management Department, the Sarasota Police Department and the North Port and Venice Fire and Police Departments all took part in the exercise.
Solano says after this exercise she is confident that staff and emergency personnel will be prepared in a potential emergency situation.
“I am pretty confident; they treated me really fast," said Solano. "They got my wounds patched up and they got my head in a stable position; it was pretty good.”
Contact Yara Klimchak at [email protected]