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Huron Officials Practice Active Shooter Drill

May 22, 2014, 10:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Huron Officials Practice Active Shooter Drill
HURON, SD -

First responders and others across the country have had to learn the hard way how to deal with a person who enters a public place and opens fire.

Huron officials practiced an active shooter drill at the Hospital Thursday. In the drill, a role player acted the part of a disgruntled family member taking revenge on staff in the hospital.

"We never want an event like this to happen within any community anywhere in the United States," hospital security director Nathan Hall said. “But we on the other hand want our staff and the community to be as prepared as we can if an event like this did happen in the community.”

Hall says training in an active shooter scenario is required by the state this year. In Huron, the exercise included close to ten entities who'd respond to a real-life active shooter. Those entities included law enforcement, healthcare, community counseling and others.

"At 1:46 this afternoon our 911 dispatchers received a report of an active shooter in the same day surgery of the hospital," police Sergeant Brandon Neitzert said as part of the exercise.

"We do have three victims currently in the hospital. Two of them are critical and in surgery," Huron Regional Medical Center spokesperson Kim Rieger said.

Although those numbers aren't real, parties involved are hopeful the exercise they're connected with will have a real impact.

Huron Police Chief Gary Will says if a situation like this were to happen in Huron in the future, his department would be more prepared to handle it after Thursday’s exercise.

In fact, Will says police have already made adjustments based on lessons learned during the drill.

"We've learned a lot and we've already started applying what we've learned for future responses," Will said.

Officials at the hospital are gathering information from all the parties involved.

“The hospital will take that information, look at it and then we’ll make the changes necessary for the hospital,” Hall said.

Will says police also learn lessons from law enforcement officers who've encountered active shooter situations. He expects lessons learned Thursday to improve responses during other situations as well.

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