NORTON (CBS) — “This could happen anywhere, any time, any place. We’re in a church today. It could happen in a business tomorrow,” said Norton Police Chief Brian Clark. He, along with police officers, firefighters, and EMTs, participated in an active shooter training at St. Mary’s Parish Center in Norton Friday.
The drill was completed with multiple victims actors and about 100 first responders.
“It’s the unknown and we have to prepare. And we’ve got to act as a team,” said Pat McMurray of State Homeland Security, who was also present.
In the three-hour training, police had to locate and neutralize the shooter. Then they had to protect firefighters and EMTs from any other threats as they tried to get to the victims.
Mattapoisett Police Chief Mary Lyons added, “We want everyone on the same page, which is vital to a safe outcome for as many people as possible in an active shooter type event.”
The training — along with the location — was planned months ago. But the weight of last weekend’s synagogue shooting that killed 11 in Pittsburgh was not lost on any of the attendees. “When the incident happened in Pittsburgh, you know, it’s just really at the forefront. We just want people to know this is in our eyes, this is on our radar and we’re training on this type of incident,” said Clark.