School shooting drill allows first responders to sharpen their emergency skills

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Multiple first responders and emergency agencies across the area honed their skills with a drill at W.T. Lewis Elementary in Bossier City Wednesday morning. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

Multiple first responders and emergency agencies across the area honed their skills with a drill at W.T. Lewis Elementary in Bossier City Wednesday morning.

Agencies staged an active shooter scenario, while Bossier Schools is on spring break, featuring volunteer students and teachers who suffered multiple injuries.

Ian Snellgrove, director of Bossier’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, said the purpose for these types of drills is to review emergency response plans for individual agencies and make suggestions on changes, if necessary.

“After the drill is complete, we will all sit down and discuss what happened, and then emergency managers for the parish will go back and we look at our parish emergency response plan and recommend changes to parish leadership as needed,” Snellgrove said.  

Agencies who took part in today’s drill were the Bossier Sheriff’s Office, Bossier City Police and Fire Departments, Benton Fire District, Bossier Parish Emergency Medical Services, Louisiana State Police, and Bossier Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness. 

Bossier emergency responders worked together to execute effective plans that save lives in emergencies. There were over 24 hospitals and 30 other medical care providers that participated in today’s active shooter drill. 

Volunteers from Bossier Parish Community College, Louisiana State University – Shreveport, Civil Air Patrol and Barksdale Air Force Base role played as victims to make the scenario more realistic.

“A lot of the role players we had today were from private agencies in the health care industry. They need emergency drills as part of a state and federal mandate,” Snellgrove said. “We really appreciate the Bossier School board for allowing us to use this facility to help sharpen up on our emergency plans for our first responders in our parish.”

Emergency response drills, such as these, have been conducted at Bossier High School in 2014, Bossier Parish Community College in 2016, Louisiana Boardwalk in 2017, and Bossier Parish Libraries in 2018 & 2019.

“We are just so thankful that we have these responders in our parish that do what they do everyday,” Snellgrove said.

You can see more photos from this morning’s drill below: