Shippensburg Area Middle School prepares for active shooter situation

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – More than 300 teachers, school administrators and 911 emergency responders gathered at Shippensburg Area Middle School Monday morning to practice an active shooter drill.

EMS, fire and police staged the event as if it were a real scenario.

Shippensburg EMS Chief Shawn Hartsock says they incorporated the sounds of gunshots, a smoke machine and even transported fake victims to Chambersburg Hospital.

Hartsock says this is the first of its kind for the region, incorporating all of the medical personnel from the area for the drill.

“We actually stretched the resources of the community farther than what they really could handle just to do a test and see how they would work,” Hartsock said.

Shippensburg Area Interim Superintendent Greg Hoover says preparation for the drill took more than a year and said it was nearly delayed in light if the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas.

“A lot of times you just don’t think these things happen here, but you wouldn’t have thought that would have happened there, so it’s good to go ahead with the plan,” he said.

Hartsock agreed.

“You know it’s not a matter of if it’s gonna happen, as we’ve seen across the country. It’s a matter of when it’s gonna happen and we wanna make sure that we have the best chance of taking care of this situation properly,” Hartsock said.

The school district says they have no plans in the near future for another drill but Hartsock says emergency responders do have more plans in the pipeline.

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