LONGVIEW, Wash. -- Police and other emergency responders Wednesday staged an 'active shooter' drill on the campus of Lower Columbia College in Longview.
The drill was not a response to the Washington Navy Yard shooting, said Longview fire spokesman Troy Buzalsky. It was actually planned more than a year ago in response to several other shootings in public places.
The training let emergency personnel practice their response to a shooting scenario. It also helped 911 dispatchers work on taking emergency calls and getting information out to the public.
College officials said it helped them better understand how to deal with incidents that might happen on campus.
This is excellent practice for us. We've actually never had an incident on campus but a few years back there was a suspected incident at the high school next door, said Lower Columbia College spokeswoman Sue Groth. It gave us a chance to practice our procedures for emergencies. It worked out very well. We've learned some things from that and added those to our process so these practices are always good.
The drill began at 9 a.m. with a suspect firing shots in the courtyard area of the campus, in the 1600 block of Maple Street. Victims were then removed from the area, treated for injuries and taken to St. Johns Medical Center.
About 35 minutes later, another shooter took a hostage and started a shootout with police before being taken into custody, Buzalsky said.
After the drill, the agencies involved discussed what went right and what went wrong with the response. More than a dozen agencies spent the last year planning the drill.
KGWReporter Ashley Korslien contributed to this report.