Experience has proven that being prepared can reduce the consequences of a school shooting. There have been at least 16 school shootings in the United States so far this year. They come in communities large and small. Not being prepared is not an option. That is why Hale County Emergency Management Agency and agencies and departments from 16 counties are conducting an Active Shooter Full-scale Training Exercise in Greensboro tonight.

"We are working on team building with 16 counties around us," says Hale County EMA Director Russell Weeden. "We are expecting well over 500 first responders with 65-plus agencies participating."

Adding to the realism of the exercise will be 64 victims. Officials point out you can have all the written plans and classroom training you want but it takes a realistic setting to give responders a true understanding of what they will face should a real call come to 9-1-1.

"It is like a football team, you can have a game plan, but it does no good to have it if you are not familiar with it and have not practiced it." adds Weeden.

According to the CNN School Shooting Database there have been 25 school shootings in Alabama since 2008, 12 in our neighboring state of Mississippi. Nationally, 2021-23 were the worst years for school shootings with 73, 79 and 82 incidents.

School shootings can be traumatizing to an entire community, that is the reason Hale County scheduled their exercise during the evening hours and publicized it heavily so nobody will mistake it for the real thing.

The pre-event activities begin at 5:00pm with sign-in at the First Presbyterian Church on Demopolis Street in Greensboro. Various training classes for different disciplines will begin at 5:30. The Catfish Navy is providing a meal for all participants at 6:30 and the scenario for the exercise will begin to playout at Greensboro Elementary School at 7:00pm.

A "Hot Wash" (critique} of what took place will be conducted following the exercise. That will be the precursor to a written improvement plan that will be developed and distributed to first responder participants in the coming days.


More From 95.3 The Bear