The growing number of school shootings across our country is inspiring a new type of safety training. An elementary school in Hutto took part in an active shooter drill Friday.
As the emergency dispatch calls went out, Veterans Hill Elementary school quickly became a crisis point. Emergency responders swarmed the school complex northwest of Hutto throughout the morning.
This active shooter drill was designed to help the different agencies in Williamson County, specifically around Hutto, to learn how to work together, according to Hutto Fire Chief Scott Kerwood.
"Police has one mind set. Fire has one mind set, EMS has one mind set, we all do things different so what we have to be able to do is all come together operate as one organization in a common setting to carry out our job," said Chief Kerwood.
Taking out an active shooter is not the only focus of this drill. To reach the wounded faster Hutto PD Chief Peter Scheets said response teams are teaming up with individuals who use combat medic techniques.
"So we are also looking as a result of the scenario of training the responding police officers in basic first aid and equipping them to assist the medics as they go into these types of scenarios," said Scheets.
School employees have also gone through a briefing based on action words that set in motion different campus response plans.
"We use terms like Lockout, Lights Out, Lock Down, Evacuate, it simple clear so that way when staff members or students hear commands they know exactly what to do and where to go and how to make themselves safe," said Hutto ISD spokesperson Emily Grobe.
The plan does not include arming teachers - local law enforcement officials have advised against that saying - in a crisis situation running into an armed school employee could turn deadly.
School officials at Hutto ISD say they do have armed resource officers on campuses. There are no plans to create a School Marshal program, which was made legal during the past legislative session.