Mock shooter drill prepares local first responders


Our local first responders putting their skills to the test Saturday, in a dramatic way.

Wheeling Police and Ohio County Sheriff’s Deputies worked together with other first responders to practice a mass triage situation.

“Somebody help her!”

West Liberty University students came out early on their Saturday to act as victims and shooter in a mock movie theatre shooting drill and their drama skills were put to the test. Many of the so-called “victims” were rushed away in ambulances as first responders tracked response times. Although the entire scene was only part of drill, the atmosphere was filled with a sense of urgency.

“As an actor, you try to make it as real as possible, but you kind of have to draw the line with too real and not real enough, but scary for sure,” said Alex Gordon, West Liberty Student.

“Yeah, just hearing the noises and hearing everybody around you and all the screams, it felt very realistic and it was actually scary,” said Daniel Morgan, West Liberty Student.

Officials said they try to do a response drill at least once a quarter to make sure they are prepared for any kind of mass tragedy. Now that this drill was successfully completed, first responders will review their work and learn from their actions.

“It was a unified response. But there’s a lot things we’ll go back and we’ll sit and we’ll look at. What did we do right? What did we do wrong? And how are we going to correct those things? These drills just help us get better,” said Lou Vargo, Director of the Ohio County Emergency Management.

Officials with the Ohio County EMA said they plan to practice similar drills to be prepared in the future.

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