Do not be alarmed…this was only a drill.
Multiple Bossier Parish public safety agencies conducted a joint emergency disaster exercise Tuesday, Feb. 9, on the campus of Bossier Parish Community College.
A large number of emergency response vehicles were dispatched to the college campus, located at 6220 East Texas Street in Bossier City, just after 9 a.m. for a simulated active shooter scenario. In conjunction with the exercise, Bossier Parish schools conducted a crisis lockdown drill on all of its school campuses.
The scenario involved multiple shooters in multiple buildings on campus, including the theatre where a presentation on Mardi Gras was taking place for elementary children. No actual children were involved or in the building at the time of the drill.
The Bossier Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in conjunction with multiple law enforcement agencies and BPCC in an effort to enhance joint response and readiness procedures for Bossier Parish first responders.
“What this does is it trains these different agencies for a situation like this,” Mark Natale, public information officer for the City of Bossier City said. “We’ve seen these sort of situations occur across the country. Bossier Parish wants to be ready for that.”
Natale continued, “Today we had a situation where first responders went in, immediately neutralized the threat and, more importantly, began administering care to those who needed first aid. This is a good example of not only how first responders, but also public entities withing Bossier Parish come together for something like this.”
This exercise was done on a much larger scale than the one conducted at Bossier High School in October 2014. Natale stressed the importance of having these types of learning experiences and said there will be more exercises like this done in the future.
“If there’s a place to make mistakes, this is the place to do it,” he said.
BPCC students and volunteers from several non-profit agencies served as actors in the exercise. Classes were not in session at BPCC at the time of the exercise. The campus was closed in recognition of the Louisiana state holiday of Mardi Gras.
The best way for BPCC students, faculty, and staff to be informed as to when a real emergency occurs on campus is to sign up for CAVSAlert, an emergency mass notification system that provides instant notification capabilities during an emergency on campus. Registration can be found on the BPCC website — www.bpcc.edu.