On Saturday, Aug. 3, first responders participated in an active shooter drill inside the Henrico County Courthouse.
“Sadly, the scenario of an active shooter is a sign of our times,” said Emergency Management Coordinator Emily Ashley. “The purpose of our exercise was to test our first responders in the event of a hostile threat.”
More than 100 Sheriff’s deputies, police officers and firefighters reacted to the scenario of a gunman taking hostages inside the courthouse. Volunteers played the roles of victims. Some ran from the courthouse with their hands up, others remained inside.
For three hours, first responders worked together to apprehend a mock shooter and rescue his pretend hostages. They set up triage outside of the courthouse for those who portrayed injured victims.
Exercises like Saturday’s challenge emergency personnel’s procedures and plans, Ashley said.
“We can test our response times, our collaborations and our partnerships,” she explained. “This will help ensure Henrico County is prepared in the event of a real emergency.”
A federal grant paid for the emergency exercise, which had been planned for several months. The drill occurred just hours before two mass shootings claimed lives in Texas and Ohio.