FLOYD CO., Va.—There was an emergency at Floyd County High School Friday involving two gunmen and several law enforcement agencies! But it was only a drill; an active shooter drill. It's very important training for a region that's seen its share of tragedy.
The exercise involved a lot of people. Virginia State Police, Floyd and Montgomery County Sheriff's Offices as well as Virginia Tech, Christiansburg and Galax Police departments responded. Participants acted as if this were real; they used air pellets in place of the real bullets of course.
Floyd County sheriff's deputies were first ones there. They discovered there were two shooters inside the auditorium with about 20 hostages. A deputy tried to negotiate with the shooters through a door rigged with explosives. It's training that's essential in a post Columbine and April 16th world. "It's good training. It's an event we hope never happens but we want to be ready for it if it does," said Chief Investigator Jeff Dalton with the Floyd County Sheriff's Office.
This drill was also beneficial for the school system and some staff that took part in it. "It's going to give us a chance to look very closely at our crisis management plan; to look and see what we're doing well, to look and see what we need to improve. I think it's also going to embed some teacher advocates within the school," said Kevin Harris, Floyd County Schools Superintendent.
Along with swat teams, armored vehicles were brought in and used too. Everything was played out as if it were real. Plus, all of it was videotaped for review later. There will be an evaluation in a bit to see what needs to be improved upon. On Saturday, area fire departments and hazardous materials crews will go through an extensive drill as well.