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Emergency responders practice for school shootings

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. - It's safe to say the latter half of "hoping for the best but preparing for the worst," was in practice Wednesday morning in Airway Heights as several different agencies were working together to prepare for everyone's worst nightmare - a school shooting."

More than a dozen fake victims lined the halls of sunset elementary; some with minor injuries, some with life threatening wounds, and all with panic in their eyes.

While no first responder ever hopes to receive such a call, it's vital they're prepared if it ever comes.

"We all got to put our egos aside," declared Airway Heights Fire Chief Mitch Metzger, describing the importance of inter-agency cooperation.

"Just like on the football field, everyone has to work in concert with everyone else in order to make things happen."

The drill was conducted twice in the span of a few hours, each run through ending with the shooter in custody and the wounded treated.

While Airway Heights certainly does not have the resources of a larger city like Spokane or Coeur D'Alene, it does have one unique advantage.

"We're small enough where if I'm walking next to a Police Officer, I'll know his face, I might know him, I might know his family. Having that connection might make an emergency situation a whole lot better."


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