Summit County responders to participate in mass-casualty simulation on Wednesday | SummitDaily.com

Summit County responders to participate in mass-casualty simulation on Wednesday

Staff Report
news@summitdaily.com

Summit County's Office of Emergency Management will conduct their annual, county-wide training exercise this Wednesday. The exercise will take place at Summit Middle School throughout the afternoon, with large numbers of emergency vehicles and uniformed personnel on-site to be trained to respond to a mass-casualty incident, such as a school shooting.

More than 100 emergency responders, school district personnel and public officials participate in the exercise throughout the day. No students will be involved in the training, but select Summit Middle School staff will be present.

"Our emergency responders in Summit County are highly skilled, and they're out there every day protecting public health and safety," Summit County Emergency Management Director Joel Cochran said in a statement. "But we use these kinds of exercises to test, assess and improve their resiliency for incidents that are much larger, more complicated and more stressful than they typically see in their day-to-day work."

Wednesday's simulation is designed to assess the county's ability to quickly coordinate a response to an active shooter, testing communication between agencies, ordering resources, disseminating information, communicating to families and several other crucial skills.

"We certainly hope that a mass-casualty incident like this never occurs in our community, but we have to ensure that we're prepared, nonetheless," Summit County Sheriff John Minor said in a statement. "And these exercises can also serve as reminders of the preparedness and prevention measures that members of the public can take."

The Sheriff's Office encourages the community to report suspicious behaviors that could indicate future crimes, such as an unauthorized person in a restricted area, a vehicle parked in an unusual location or a person carrying a weapon into a school or collecting information about a building's operations or security.

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Students are encouraged to submit anonymous reports of threatening behavior through Safe2Tell, by either calling 1-877-542-7233 or by submitting a tip through http://www.safe2tell.org.

Community members may receive test emergency-alert messages throughout Wednesday afternoon, through the Summit County alert email and text messaging system.