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November 14, 2016

Active shooter drill scheduled for Nov. 19 at Skagit Valley College

It’s just a drill: Law enforcement, fire, EMS and other first responders will converge on Skagit Valley College as part of an active shooter training exercise scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 19.

Those living or working near the college can expect to see ambulances and police and fire vehicles converge in the parking lot near McIntyre Hall between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Police, fire and EMS personnel will also be moving in teams around the college, into buildings, and into mock triage facilities situated near campus.

The drill also includes participation from Skagit Regional Health emergency staff. Ambulances will transport mock victims to Skagit Valley Hospital and the Riverbend Urgent Care Clinic. This portion of the drill gives hospital staff a chance to practice their emergency plans for triaging and treating a large number of wounded.

Those out and about on Saturday, Nov. 19, should expect extra traffic near Skagit Valley College and Skagit Regional Health facilities. Facilitators for the exercise also ask the public to avoid the Skagit Valley College grounds until the afternoon so training can proceed without interruption.

“It’s crucial that our police, fire EMS and local hospitals can work together seamlessly when an incident like this occurs,” said Earl Klinefelter, Skagit County EMS Mass Casualty Incident coordinator. “This drill gives our first responders a chance to apply their training to a scenario that’s incredibly realistic, and assess ways that we can more effectively and efficiently respond to this type of emergency.”

Planning for the active shooter drill began nearly a year ago. The half-day exercise will involve more than 16 local agencies, including the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office, Mount Vernon Police Department, Mount Vernon and Skagit County fire departments, and regional Emergency Medical Service providers. All the participants in the exercise will respond to the drill as if it were a real event.

Following the drill, participants will complete an after-action exercise designed to evaluate what aspects of the exercise went well, and where they can improve their collaborative efforts.

For more information about Skagit Valley College’s role in the active shooter drill, including what staff and students can expect to see Nov. 19, please contact Arden Ainley at arden.ainley@skagit.edu or 360-416-7716.

For more information about Skagit Regional Health’s role in the active shooter drill, including what staff, visitors and patients can expect to see at regional facilities Nov. 19, please contact Kari Ranten at 360-814-2370 or kranten@skagitregionalhealth.org.