Explosions rocked the neighborhood around El Dorado High School as a gun battle ensued on the campus the morning of July 15, lasting all day. Shots rang out as students ran for cover or were locked down. El Dorado County deputies, detectives, probation officers, Fish & Game officers, El Dorado County Fire Protection District personnel and Placerville police officers all responded to the threat of subjects armed with assault rifles, handguns and explosives. In the end, the threats were eliminated, the innocent evacuated and the campus secured.
Or it would have been, had the threat been real.
Instead, it was part of the annual Active Shooter Training, hosted by Sheriff John D’Agostini and El Dorado High. The training session, which also took place all day July 18, takes place at a local school each year and uses the sheriff’s SWAT team and Office of Emergency Services, a press release stated. This year, Georgetown Fire Protection District also helped with the instruction, teaching how to treat bleeding injuries and carry individuals to a safe and secure area during emergency situations. The training sessions help first responders — law enforcement and emergency medical teams — develop mental and physical preparedness and to practice individual and team tactics for active shooter situations.
The participants and some school administrators attended a lecture providing a historical overview of active shooter situations. They learned about preparation techniques and how to handle the situation if an active shooter event happened on campus.
For the practical training, students role-played as students during an active shooter situation and sheriff’s personnel acted as the suspects. The “suspects” were armed with improvised explosive devices — commonly known as IEDs — and real handguns and assault rifles modified to be paintball guns.
A temporary dispatch center acted out the scripted scenario through the participants’ radios. Responding personnel acted as though the threat was real, first creating an incident command center. Local teams were deployed to neutralize the threats while recovery teams rescued innocents and perimeter teams secured the area.
The training was a success, according to a sheriff’s spokesman.