CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) - SWAT teams and crime scene tape surrounded Clarence High School Wednesday. It was not a real emergency, but it was designed to look and feel like one.
For the first time ever, students, faculty and first responders together practiced what they'd do if an intruder came into school with a gun.
Superintendent Geoffrey Hicks said, "Our building immediately went into a lockdown procedure. Our building principal called 911 to initiate the emergency response. During the course of the drill, we had some students who were simulating being injured; we had some students who were simulated in the hallway as a distraction."
Police, firefighters and EMS say, drills like this are so important because they're rehearsing a coordinated response, instead of training for a disaster with just their own departments.
State Police Capt. Steven Grapp said, "How you're going to set up, get to a scene, try to address a target, stabilize a scene, move forward in setting command posts and things of that nature."
In a true emergency, this training can help save time and lives.
Clarence Volunteer Fire Chief William Major said, "It was great that we were able to integrate with law enforcement, and have that hands-on experience and put the different teams together."
The drill showed some parts of the school's emergency plan can be improved, says Hicks.
Law enforcement vetted some new tactics.
Town of Clarence Emergency Coordinator Dave Bissonette said, "Chief Major has put together a strike-team approach that has not been tried before. We saw a lot of good potential in that... as a tool. We always have a lengthy list of opportunities after a drill of this magnitude."
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