CRESSON, Pa. (WTAJ) — Penn Cambria High School conducted an active shooter drill on Monday in which police and first responders were already on site when a “911 call” came in about shots fired.
The gunfire, gunshot victims and the call were all a simulation. The purpose behind it was to see how the police and different agencies from the area would respond to an active shooter in the school.
“We tried to make it as real life as possible, not only for law enforcement but for the teachers involved. You’re coming into a school and you actually get to hear gunshots inside of a building instead of outside. Then you just move and work your way from there,” said Nick Jastrab, the Chief at the Cresson Borough Police Department.
The Cambria County Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) and Cambria County Emergency Management Agency were joined by firefighters and police officers as they learned the first steps to take in the event of an active shooter.
“Participation in the active shooter drill from a fire department perspective here at Keystone Regional was to exercise a unified command. This is a large-scale event. It’s going to require multiple resources to provide means to mitigate the incident,” Ralph Lee, Captain of Keystone Regional Fire Rescue, said.
A total of three drills were done, with each one having a different scenario than the last.
Mr. Ronan, a Special Education teacher and Head Basketball Coach at the high school, played a vital role in Monday’s drill as a shooter to show staff and first responders what it was like.
“It’s critical. Especially in today’s society seeing all the different chaos in school and the school shootings. It’s very important to be able to protect everybody that’s in the building,” Ronan said.
Chief Jastrab said he hopes to take Monday’s training and encourage the school to have more drills, and eventually incorporate students.
“I want to get more agencies to participate whether it’s from the Southern part of the county or the Northern part. We’re close to Blair County. They could get the notification about an active shooter and they could send some units up to assist,” Jastrab said.