First Responders Work Together in Simulated WSU Mass Shooting
Aug 21, 2018, 6:20 PM | Updated: 10:15 pm
OGDEN, Utah – Several agencies from across Weber County worked together on a mock mass-shooting training exercise, brushing up on their ability to work together in a worst-case scenario.
Paramedics, firefighters, and police officers rushed in to help some 200 injured students after a simulated riot and shooting at Weber State University’s Stewart Stadium Tuesday morning.
“Our campus community and surrounding communities need to know that we are working hard to be prepared to respond in any crisis if necessary.”
Playing the part of the injured were students from Clearfield Job Corps. They were glad to see the multiple agencies working together in preparation for a worst-case scenario.
“You never know when it can happen to you, you know?” said student Shanice Helmer.
“It can happen out of the blue,” said Casheta Ferguson.
Chief Dane LeBlanc with the Weber State Police Department said similar drills are organized each year, but rarely as large as this one, where around 500 people were involved, including volunteers and the injured.
“We really need to exercise our ability to function together in a large-scale event,” Leblanc said. “The logistics of that is really difficult in even just an exercise, so you can imagine what it would be like if you had a real-world scenario.”
Among the law enforcement agencies included the Weber County Sheriff’s Office Civil Disorder Unit. It was the unit’s first participation in this kind of training. The unit was organized to focus on keeping the peace in large crowd situations like protests and riots where SWAT may not be necessary.
While SWAT members later worked to diffuse a simulated barricaded shooter, dozens of others brought the mock-injured into ambulances and headed to area hospitals.
In the coming days, Chief LeBlanc said each organization will work together to evaluate how they did, and look at how to improve in the future.
“It will pay huge dividends down the road,” he said. “Our campus community and surrounding communities need to know that we are working hard to be prepared to respond in any crisis if necessary.”