It’s a call no one ever hopes to hear come over the police scanner: “Shots fired at Anson High School.”
But, thanks to intensive on-scene training Friday morning at the high school, Anson County law enforcement and emergency services are well prepared should a shooting ever occur.
“We want to be prepared for something we hope we never need to do,” Sheriff Tommy Allen said.
Law enforcement and EMS trained for three different scenarios Friday, all of which included capturing a shooter, tending to the wounded and stabilizing the scene. “Our goal is to neutralize the shooter,” Allen said. “Once you enter a school and fire a weapon, there is no negotiation.”
Although the sheriff helped organize the training, Anson County emergency services director Rodney Diggs led the drill Friday. Allen said he, Diggs and a team of law enforcement officers and emergency personnel studied 20 school shootings to prepare.
“This is the culmination of about a year’s worth of work,” Allen said. “We’re doing it in partnership with the school system, but it could be anywhere where people are gathered, like a Walmart or public event.”
Although Diggs and Allen couldn’t release specific details about the training, Diggs said one of the three scenarios included transporting the injured to the hospital.
Anson County Schools had a teacher workday on Friday, so classes were not in session while the drill took place. Several students volunteered as victims, however.