Health officials participate in active shooter drill - WNEM TV 5

Health officials participate in active shooter drill

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Prepared for the worst was the goal of an active shooter drill in Mid-Michigan on Thursday.

A recent study by the FBI shows between 2016 and 2017 active shooter incidents were at an all-time high. There were 50 between the two years alone.

Drills like the one at the Public Health Center on Thursday help first responders test their skills and strengthen their response.

“I think in the world that we live in now it’s a real situation. We need to be prepared,” said Christina Harrington, health officer for the Saginaw County Department of Public Health.

Harrington wants to be ready for anything.

“In the world we live in now you just never know where you’re at and when a situation might unfold,” she said.

The agency held a full scale active shooter drill to test emergency protocols that staff need to follow if something like this were to really happen.

Harrington said the drills started with an active shooter entering the building. Then law enforcement arrived to neutralize the shooter and remove the threat from the building. It all happened while staff practiced what they should do in the event of a real shooter.

“It’s a little scarier to think about what that sounds like. And the response that you get from that, but you know we need to be better trained to know how to respond when we do hear a situation like that,” Harrington said.

One person who showed up to get health services while the drill was happening said he didn’t mind waiting, especially for an active shooter drill.

“I think it’s a good idea to have it for safety,” said James Lafayette.

As for Harrington, she hopes her department never has to deal with a real gunman, but she wants to be prepared just in case.

“We’re really thankful that we got to practice in a full-scale situation like this because now we know what to expect,” Harrington said.

Covenant Healthcare and St. Mary’s of Michigan also took part in the drill.

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