BETHEL, N.C. (WNCT) – You can normally hear a pin drop in a school classroom during the summer. On Tuesday, sounds of simulated gunfire rang in the halls of North Pitt High School.
9 On Your Side joined officers as they trained for an active shooter situation.
Most areas in the East look rural, open and minutes away from any law enforcement agencies. While the area may not look like New York City, Chicago or even Raleigh, law enforcement officers want you to know they’re ready for the worst.
Mass shootings can happen anywhere, anytime. In the U.S., there’s more than one a day.
“We just never know where it’s going to happen and we need to be prepared,” said Ray Waters, of the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office.
That’s exactly why law enforcement officers were at North Pitt training for an active shooter situation. This time, they invited the media to join them.
Long sleeves, protectors, and a helmet were put on during the simulation. It was so realistic and complex, that it was easy to forget it was a simulation.
“This is as real as you can get without being in it. These rounds when you’re using them it’s a kind of a paint style round, but it hurts when it hits you,” said Waters.
Numerous scenarios were practiced.
Deputies, officers, and first responders act like it’s any other call. Everyone works together as a team to get people out safely. Securing the shooter is only the beginning.
“Making sure that the casualties, the victims are taken care of,” said Roberto Portela, medical director.
The only way to prepare for the all too common mass shooter situations is practice.
“The best way of giving EMS the experience or the awareness of what happens inside is to be involved in this active shooter,’ Portela added.
Agencies from all over the East were at Tuesday’s training. Officers said this type of training happens once a year, but other skills are constantly tested.