First Full Scale Active Shooter Drill Performed in the Lower Valley - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

First Full Scale Active Shooter Drill Performed in the Lower Valley

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ZILLAH, Wash.--Multiple agencies in the Lower Valley spent their day training for an incident they don't ever want to happen.
If you didn't know it was a drill, the screaming combined with harsh police commands could make you feel like you were right in the middle of a terrifying crime scene.
"How scary it can be when you hear actual shots fired in your daily workplace," said Janell Olivas, the Middle School Secretary. "It was very scary."
Only a few actors managed to escape, but nearly 70 people stayed trapped inside Zillah Middle School with two gunmen also inside.
"You have conflicted feelings because you get out safely and you leave everybody else behind so that was the hardest part for me, knowing that I got out safe and the shooter was still in there," said Olivas.
Multiple law enforcement agencies, fire rescue crews and school districts participated in the first full scale active shooter exercise in the Lower Valley. Jim Hall, the Director of Emergency Management said Tuesday was a big learning experience to see how responders in our area would react to this type of intensity.
"I think there is better understanding," said Hall. "We all tend to live in our little world if you will, and when we all get together and work at a problem, our comfort level goes up a little bit and we build these levels of trust that are needed to make an event go well."
"We've did some table top exercises to get ready for this, but nothing prepares you for the actual visuals of blood, the hearing of gunshots, the hearing of the bad guys voice," said Olivas. "I think we're well prepared."
This was the second drill in a two part exercise program put on by the Zillah School District. The first occurred in early May and was a lot less complex.
Responders said they used their skills learned in the previous exercise to tackle this more stressful scenario.