Marinette County agencies hold active-shooter training in a school

Marinette County agencies used the old Garfield Elementary School building, motivated by the Uvalde shooting
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 7:36 PM CDT
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MARINETTE, Wis. (WBAY) - In light of recent national events, authorities in Marinette County held active-shooter training inside of an old school Thursday.

Inside Garfield Elementary School were dozens of first responders from several communities learning how to respond to a mass casualty scenario. The training used mannequins as a substitute for people who were injured.

This simulation took the Marinette County Sheriff’s Office and Marinette Police Department two months to plan.

“First time that we’ve been able to put on a large-scale event in a very long while and get all our law enforcement partners here,” Patrick Callahan with the sheriff’s office said.

“There’s so much to coordinate and so little time to do it, and it’s important because the first time that we do something, we don’t want to have it be the real thing. We want to be able to practice it,” Marinette Police Lt. Jeff Cate said.

Officials say the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, prompted them to hold such a training scenario inside Garfield Elementary. Nineteen children and two teachers were killed by a gunman in that shooting.

“Obviously Uvalde is the latest, but this has been a trend over the last few years,” Cate said, “and the public should know we will be ready in case anything were to happen.”

The training included medical responders as well as law enforcement officers.

“Old school response would be for us to stage several blocks away, wait to hear something. Their busy with what they’re doing, we don’t hear anything and there’s just a huge delay,” Mike Orlando, ambulance services supervisor at Aurora Medical Center - Bay Area, told Action 2 News. “So in this, we’re networked with them. We know what’s going on.”

While they hope never to respond to such a situation, officials say the goal is to be prepared.