Crews hold active shooter drill at Dixie State University

Posted at 8:01 PM, Jun 14, 2013

ST. GEORGE, Utah – Personnel from Dixie State University, Dixie Regional Medical Center and St. George police came together Friday to plan for something they hope never happens.

The teams acted out an active shooter drill at Dixie State's health science building. Employees say even though they knew it was a drill, it still gave them pause about the scenario that has played out multiple times across the country in the past year.

"Even though I could run, and I didn't ever have to see the shooter it made me think," says employee Marie Wright. "What would I really do? So it was beneficial."

Wright was among close to 100 students, staff and responders working out the details in the mock shooter scene. Police gauged response time, the hospital gauged triage and ambulance gauged mobilization.

"It brings a realism to what others have faced on other college campuses, elementary schools different places across the country," says DSU administrative services vice president Paul Morris.

The active shooter drill was primarily a test of tactics, procedures and response times. But interfaith leaders who also participated in the drill say it was also a test of human nature, and the emotions that somebody would go through in an actual event like this.

"It is our faith that allows us to comfort each other," says St. George Interfaith Council president Jimi Kreston. "To know that we have hope for recovery for those who are affected by something like this."

Preliminarily, agencies say the drill went off as well as can be expected. Agencies will review debrief reports and make revisions to policies, hoping they never have to use those lessons learned.

"I think the thing that kid of saved us here is, 'Okay, I know this is an exercise,'" says Wright. "I'm glad we're doing that. Hope it never happens."

Dixie State directors say they hope to make the drill an annual event to keep up on training.