Pinellas County emergency responders practice active shooter drill at school – Tampa Bay Now

CLEARWATER, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Police and emergency services participated in an active shooter drill at a Pinellas County elementary school on Wednesday.

It involved several agencies and has taken three years to plan.

READ MORE: Racist flyers found in driveways in Lakewood Ranch community

“It’s going to happen again. The question is when and where,” said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

For Pinellas County first responders, their Wednesday began with the sound of gunshots.

“Stopping the horror. As soon as you can. That has to be without a doubt, unequivocally, the number one priority,” Gualtieri said.

That’s exactly what first responders were doing: responding to an active shooter drill that looked as real as possible.

“You saw deputies going through windows, you saw firefighters and EMS personnel going through windows and taking casualties,” Gualtieri said.

READ MORE: Man suffers ‘serious injuries’ after being attacked by an alligator

Agencies across Pinellas County knew there was a drill going on, but they didn’t know details about how many shooters there would be, how many victims, or where everyone would be at High Point Elementary School.

“There are victims, there are people screaming, there are injured, there are components and work groups of EMS Firefighters, and trying to get people out. You have to put stress on people to simulate it as best you can,” Gualtieri said.

Gualtieri says the fake shooter was caught and the victims received medical help.

“These kinds of situations, we all fear them, we don’t want to see them in Pinellas County Schools, but we have to be prepared,” said Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Kevin Hendrick.

The sheriff’s office will release a report in a few weeks outlining how local emergency response agencies could do better.

MORE NEWS: Eight people were hospitalized with minor injuries after unexpected turbulence diverted a plane.

“I saw stuff today, and it’s all going to be part of the action afterward, but we’re learning and closing that gap, so if the real thing happens, we’re in the best possible place,” Gualtieri said.

Leave a Comment