Training drill is June 14

Emergency personnel, school staff, student actors take part

— Community members need not worry when driving past Sunnyside High School the afternoon of June 14.

Police, firefighters, paramedics, deputies from the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, Astria Health officials, 4Pointe and, of course, staff and select students are taking part in a school safe-ty training drill.

The 1-3 p.m. training drill is a collaborative effort to test responses in an active shooter scenario, School District Spokesperson Jessica Morgan said.

“We are hoping people won’t panic when they see the emergency vehicles at the high school,” Superintendent Kevin McKay said.

Everyone involved in the training is pre-selected and working to simulate a scenario like those that have taken place in other schools across the country.

Morgan said the district has been working hard to provide the community advanced notice to prevent people from being alarmed at the activity.

The scenario will include a base of command, a media area and other factors that are part of a real-life scenario, McKay said.

The district wants to be prepared in the event of any emergency or crisis situation, he said.

“We also focus on looking beyond just the school in crisis and at what adjustments have to be made across the district when a situation arises,” McKay said.

The training is intended to be a benefit to the district and all first responders that would be involved in a real life scenario, he said.

“We want it to be real for the first responders,” McKay said, noting law enforcement and fire fighters often train for their day-to-day duties.

It’s also important for them to train for a crisis like a school shooting, he said.

Morgan said planning for the training has been months in the works.

“Kevin has wanted to see what security and safety procedures are needed,” she said, stating safety is a priority of McKay and the district.


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