It didn’t take long after the first mention of a planned active shooter training exercise at city hall for the anxiety to kick in, and the questions and concerns to begin . . . and for good reason. Especially with the ongoing national and international news, some fear and consternation among employees was expected, even for a training exercise.
In a time when terrorists and mentally ill individuals attack innocent people around the world, we understand how critically important it is that we’re prepared for that possibility in Greeley. Although we hope a situation like that never happens here, we know it’s possible—it can happen anywhere and we must do our best to be prepared.
Our police and fire department personnel, along with Banner Health’s ambulance service participated in a July exercise meant to help prepare our community’s first responders as well as city hall employees for a possible shooter situation. The training included realistic makeup for a dozen volunteer “victims,” a shooter using a real semi-automatic rifle firing blanks, and advance directions to employees to practice the appropriate run-hide-fight emergency reactions.
The exercise was well planned and when it was over, first responders, “victims,” and all those involved appreciated the live practice. There’s nothing more important and helpful than practicing escape routes and other strategies that can save lives.
My thanks go to everyone involved in the planning and especially to those who participated directly in this real-life training. I’d also like to thank residents who may have been inconvenienced by the 3-hour closure of City Hall.
Roy H. Otto