Warren County School District, Multiple Agencies Take Part in Intruder Drill

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Pennsylvania State Police enter Sheffield Area High School during Tuesday's active intruder drill.

SHEFFIELD, Pa. – It’s always good to be prepared.

On Tuesday at Sheffield Area Middle High School and Elementary Center, the Warren County School District, in conjunction with multiple county agencies took part in a pair of active intruder drills.

“The reason behind the whole thing is to get cooperative training between Fire/EMS and law enforcement,” said WCSD Safety and Security Officer Brandon Deppen. “In the case that an emergency like this was to happen at one of our buildings, they will have worked with each other and they’re familiar with each other and how each other is going to react to that particular situation.

“It gives them good, hands-on experience. It gives them that ability to practice.”

Law enforcement secures the suspect during Tuesday’s drill.

The situation was an active intruder drill with multiple casualties. Shots rang out with multiple ‘victims’ (actors).

Officers arrived on scene and, following a lethal confrontation, lethally took down the shooter.

“You want to be prepared for the worst and at the same time hope it never happens,” Deppen said.”

Emergency personnel treat ‘victims’ during Tuesday’s drill.

The confrontation between police and the shooter featured simulated ammunition, with officers using their own weapons loaded with paint rounds.

Once law enforcement neutralized the threat, they proceeded with securing the building and provided protection for EMS as they treated victims.

Agencies taking part in the drill included the City of Warren Police, Warren County Public Safety, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Pennsylvania State Police, EmergyCare, Clarendon Volunteer Fire Department, Warren County Adult Probation, Youngsville Borough Police, Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, Sheffield Volunteer Fire Department and Glade Volunteer Fire Department.

And then there were the actors, several of whom are WCSD employees.

“This is the second time I’ve done this and I wanted to see how things out,” said Stacey Lobdell, who volunteered to be one of the deceased victims.

Added Becky Ickert: “As a teacher, I just want to be familiar, so I’m at least a little bit prepared.”

Law enforcement works to secure the building during Tuesday’s drill.

Melissa Bullock felt the same way.

“I feel like it’s a good situation to learn from, just being in the building,” she said.

A drill that everyone hopes never has to be put into practice anywhere in the district, but one that everyone is prepared for nonetheless.