HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) - In a drill on Wednesday organized by the Erie County Sheriff's Office, the first officers on the scene know only this: There is an active shooter in the building and people have already been shot.
Sheriff Tim Howard says the top priority is, "To minimize whatever damage is being done by a quick response by the first responders."
Part of the drill is to determine if officers know how to use proper cover. They are at risk here of being hit.
"When you have an active shooter situation that you're responding to, it's the boots on the ground, the first responders, that have to react immediately to save lives. Time is lives," said State Police Major Chris Cummings.
The bullets used during the drill are hard plastic projectiles, and they are being fired at close range. The projectiles can pack a punch.
"Probably like getting hit with a baseball or a wax bullet or something, so it has a very clear sting to it," Sheriff Howard described.
Wednesday's drill involved a domestic violence scenario, with a husband holding his wife at gunpoint. The drill was conducted by trainers hired by the Department of Homeland Security.
Many of the 31 first responders that take part in the exercise will then pass along the lessons they have learned to their colleagues.
Besides the sheriff's office and State Police, officers from State Parks Police, Hamburg Police and Orchard Park Police took part in the drill.
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