WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — According to the Center for Homeland Defense and Security, in 2021, there were 249 school shootings in total in the United States.
Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) partnered with Trinity School of Medicine to design a joint field training exercise to simulate a real-world, on-campus, active shooter incident.
CGTC's Dean of Health Science, Dr. Alvin Harmon, says the drill is meant to help students apply their medical skills from the classroom and test them in a real-world situation.
"Unfortunately, mass casualty events are becoming more and more common. It's good to know that your students are being prepared in a simulated environment to respond to that situation if, by chance, it were to occur," Harmon said.
Warner Robins Police and Fire Department, Houston County's public safety agencies, and CGTC police helped with the drill.
Senior RN student Leah Crosley said the simulation will help her have a better relationship with different healthcare units.
"I think it's important that we learn how to work with surg-techs, with other nurses, with the doctors, and even with our community," Crosley said.
2021 had the highest number of U.S. school shootings, followed by 2019, which has the next highest number with 119 school shootings.
Helicopters, smoke bombs and makeup enhancements were used to make the drill seem more real. Harmon said this drill is how CGTC enhances the students' learning environment.
"We're trying to not only meet the workforce needs today, we're trying to exceed and excel those workforce needs," Harmon said.
Volunteers were trained and given details about the role they were playing and multiple trainings took place leading up to the drill.