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Countywide Emergency Drill in Okawville Jan. 3

Okawville schools will play host to an active-shooter drill organized by the Washington County Emergency Management Agency on Friday, January 3.

Police, EMS, fire and ambulance services will simulate a school shooting situation at the school, which will include police roadblocks, ambulances and a helicopter landing.

In addition to training for first responders, Okawville teachers will be on hand to experience how law enforcement would respond to an event.

“We think it will give the staff something like the real life feeling of what could happen,” Okawville Junior-Senior High Principal Keith Senior said.

For local emergency responders, the drill will provide training for how to coordinate between the multiple agencies that would be on scene should the unthinkable occur.

County Emergency Management Administrator Matt Biermann is hoping to provide as realistic a simulation as possible.

“We are going to have local police on scene first, and we’re hoping to have ILEAS guys there as well,” Biermann said.

ILEAS refers to the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System, a mutual aid system from surrounding agencies that would be activated in case of an emergency.

In addition to the law enforcement response, medical providers will also be part of the drill. Ambulances will be on scene, a helicopter will practice an evacuation, and staff at local hospitals will train how to handle injuries.

Following the drill, Okawville teachers will receive Stop the Bleed Training, which teaches the public how to stop bleeding.

“Stop the Bleed training is important for teachers,” Biermann said. “Many of the deaths in school shootings are a result of people bleeding out, and those deaths are preventable.”

The training will be held over the Christmas break, so students will not be in attendance. Residents should be aware of that police and ambulance activity on Friday, January 3 is part of the drill.

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