HILLIARD, OH (WCMH) — First responders spent hours at Hilliard Darby High School on Monday, swarming the school as part of an active shooter drill that involved hundreds of teachers and staff.
In total, about 2,000 people took part in the active shooter training. From teachers to first responders, each person had a role to play as they dealt with an unknown situation.
The first responders poured into the parking lot at Hilliard Darby High School beginning just before 9 a.m. Monday, responding to a training call they hope they never get in real life.
“This is just an extreme exercise to prepare for worst-case scenarios, if there is a school-involved emergency,” said Chas Adams, the assistant chief for the Franklin Township Fire Department.
Approximately 1,800 school employees and about 200 first responders participated in the drill. Among them, first responders said, only about five people knew exactly what was going on. For the rest, the drill was a complete unknown.
“It’s unfortunate that we have to think about providing this kind of safety,” said
Dr. John Marschhausen, the superintendent of Hilliard City Schools. “The reality is, there isn’t a student in our schools today who was alive when Columbine happened.”
Some teachers volunteered to be victims and got made up with realistic-looking wounds. Others played the role of students. Some pretended to be at lunch, while others were in classrooms or the bathroom.
“Our training team has this phrase they use that ‘your body can’t go where your mind hasn’t been,’” Hilliard Police Chief Robert Fisher said
It’s a situation everyone hopes will never happen, but one people say they can’t take lightly.
“It’s happening, it’s happening regularly, and you can’t shy away from it,” John Santagata, a coach and teacher at Hilliard Darby, said. “We have to be prepared as a district, as teachers, as administrators, as students, to deal with, just in case something like this would happen.”
Monday’s training was mandatory for all school employees. The district did have counselors on hand, anticipating it could be an upsetting and emotional day for a lot of people.