Note: This is only a drill. There are some graphic images, but no one was injured.
"They were firing blanks. You could hear the shots, and you could smell their gunfire, the gunpowder. It was as realistic as we could make it,” says Steve Orazine, Director of Security at West Kentucky Community & Technical College (WKCTC). Orazine is referring to a training drill that he organized held recently at WKCTC involving the Paducah Police Department, the Paducah Fire Department, Mercy Regional EMS, the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department, McCracken County Office of Emergency Management, and DES. Students and faculty were on campus at the time of the drill. Several students and faculty participated in the drill by pretending to be casualties. On this episode of Your City at Work, viewers will be able to see drill and the response by the various agencies.
Orazine says the drill involved a scenario of four active shooters, all firing blanks, with one shooter in the woods near the Allied Health Building and three shooters who entered the building. The purpose of the drill was, in part, to test the effectiveness of existing emergency procedures including the SNAP message system. SNAP stands for Safety Notification Alert Process. Orazine says, “If a student lists their cellphone number when they register, they are automatically entered into SNAP. You can opt out of SNAP, but you are automatically put into it when you register.”
This drill provided necessary training for the Paducah Police Department especially since response methods have changed regarding active shooter scenarios. Paducah Police Captain Mark Roberts says, “So much of the emphasis now is on the initial responding officers. They are to immediately organize and move toward the threat, in this case move toward the active shooter. And that is exactly what the first responding officers did. They went inside and attempted to eliminate the threat. Then, they called in additional resources such as SWAT.”
Paducah Police Officer Lofton Rowley, a SWAT team member, says, “We want to get there and quickly eliminate the threat as soon as possible. Then we will worry about getting the injured out of there, doing secondary searches, and checking for any additional threats. But the main thing is to stop that threat.”
Also in this episode viewers will learn more about the technology used by the Paducah Police Department in their response. The final segment of this episode provides key points for citizens to remember if they are ever faced with a similar scenario in real life including what to tell a 911 operator if they witness an event.
Your City at Work can be seen on Government 11, the governmental access channel of the City of Paducah. The episode can be viewed on Government 11 starting Wednesday, September 25 at 9 p.m. It also airs Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 8:30 a.m. View daily program information by watching the informational slides airing on the Channel 11 bulletin board. The episode also is online at www.paducahky.gov and the various social media outlets for the City of Paducah including Youtube and Facebook. Check the website for program information, videos, news releases, and broadcast schedules.
Your City at Work is hosted and produced by Pam Spencer, Public Information Officer for the City of Paducah through the television production facilities at West Kentucky Community and Technical College. For more information about Your City at Work or other Government 11 programming, call Tom Butler, WKCTC Television Production Coordinator, at 534-3208 or Pam Spencer at 444-8669.