WEST JEFFERSON — Law enforcement and first responders from around Ashe County took part in an active shooter drill Aug. 3 at Ashe County High School.
According to West Jefferson Police Chief Brad Jordan, eight officers from the Ashe County Sheriff's Office and six from the West Jefferson Police Department took part in the drill, using airsoft guns instead of live ammunition.
The drill involved a simulated school shooting, with "victims" littering the halls of ACHS, and a "shooter" on the loose. Jordan said the drill went well and he was very proud of how his men handled the training exercise. He added that he was happy with how many of his officers were able to take the time out of their day to take part.
After the "shooter" was taken down, the simulated wounded were transported, to prepare for quick and effective care. At the Ashe County Safe School Committee meeting Aug. 6, Emergency Management Director Patty Gambill said the drill took a total of 57 minutes, and showed the need for inter-agency training between the school system, sheriff’s office, police and fire departments, EMS and the hospital.
Jordan said it's unfortunate that the drill had to be done in the first place. He added that the hope is the training is never needed, but it's better to be prepared for the worst.