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First responders prepare for school year by training for emergencies

Posted at 11:33 AM, Aug 10, 2022

MAGNA, Utah — First responders from multiple Utah agencies prepared for worst-case scenarios Wednesday by participating in active shooter drills ahead of the new school year.

Cypress High School served as a learning environment for a lesson those involved hope they never have to put into practice - what to do in case of an active shooter at this school or anywhere else in the valley.

The Unified Police Department led the drill and was joined by members of Unified Fire, Taylorsville Police, the Granite School District Police, Utah County Sheriff's Office and the Air National Guard.

All of those agencies are just a sliver of how large a response would be if this type of incident should ever occur.

FOX 13 News asked UPD if the reported delayed response at the Uvalde Texas school shooting in May is an example of why these exercises are necessary.

"Things like Texas just highlight the need for it," said Lt. Shane Manwaring, "But we have been doing [this] way before that ever happened, and will continue to do it in the future."

UPD says they've been participating in these exercises since the Columbine shooting in 1999.

"While we have been fortunate that we have not seen an actual school shooting," said Ben Horsley with the Granite School District, "We want the bad guys to know that we will be ready for you. You will be apprehended or you will be killed."

Officials also want to spread the message that in the event of a school shooting, it's essential parents do not go to the school's campus. They say doing so gets in the way of first responders and causes confusion.

Police realize it's a tough message to share, but they say it will ultimately help in a chaotic situation.