Addison Community Schools in southeast Michigan aren't taking its chances when it comes to dealing with an active shooter at their high school.
Addison High School will conduct a safety drill Thursday at 8:30 in the morning after students have arrived for class. The district has been planning the drill for months along with emergency responders, and will be conducted as if it were a real life event from start to end. Several Addison High students have also volunteered to act as victims.
â??They are going to be victims of gunshots. When the fire department comes over, theyâ??re going to be practicing gunshot wound (treatment) on them. Theyâ??re going to get transported in an ambulance all the way to one of the hospitals. And from there, the hospitals will practice their emergency intake,â?? said Addison Schools Superintendent Steven Guerra.
The school district sent home a letter to all parents letting them know about the scheduled drill. Guerra told WNWO that some parents are unsettled about the shooting drill, and may plan to keep their child home from school that day. He is urging all students to attend, because if they donâ??t reach 75 percent attendance, it will not count as an official school day, and will force the district to add a day to the end of the school year.
Although some parents are uneasy, Guerra said the drill will allow the school district to see if their current procedures are effective or need to be changed. The drill will also be used to gauge response times and readiness for emergency officials.
In the wake of hundreds of reported school schootings across the country, school officials are working together with fire and police departments to put students' safety first. The drill will involve local, county and state police, paramedics and two nearby hospitals. A ProMedica helicopter may also participate, depending on the weather.
Tim Shaw, the Addison Fire Chief who helped coordinate the drill, said the training will be invaluable. And while he hopes he or his staff will never be tested by an actual shooting, the drill will make sure theyâ??re prepared.
â??Even though itâ??s just practice, itâ??s important to do that to see if individuals can handle a child being shot. Itâ??s one of the toughest situations, I think, any responder can be put in,â?? said Shaw.
Students at the elementary and middle schools will also hold a lockdown Thursday morning.