Mt. Clemens, MI - Macomb County Emergency Management, Clinton Township Emergency Management and the City of Warren Emergency Management executed a full-scale mock disaster training exercise August 8, 2019 with the support of more than 200 police, fire, EMS and hospital personnel and 250 school staff and students.
The exercise, which officials have been planning for over a year, aimed to increase readiness capabilities for an active assailant incident.
The mass training exercise program was developed by Macomb County Emergency Management and Communications using guidance and materials from various government and nongovernment organizations. The drill took place at three local high schools, including Clintondale High School, Clinton Township; Fitzgerald High School, Warren; and L’Anse Creuse High School, Harrison Township. Additional exercise elements were performed at COMTEC, where the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office Centralized Dispatch took calls, gave commands and provided oversight by connecting with the schools’ security cameras.
“Having COMTEC involved was a crucial component for the exercise,” said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “In a real-life situation, they would need to move quickly and efficiently to ensure an adequate response to an active assailant. So practicing today with calls and live video feeds was certainly beneficial for everyone involved.”
According to Macomb County officials, active assailant incidents are dynamic, quick-paced events that require a certain amount of specialized and coordinated planning by emergency management and public safety entities. The events themselves are usually short in duration and response efforts need to be quick and efficient in order to protect and save as many people as possible.
“There is an urgent need to be prepared for these types of incidents,” said Brandon Lewis, director of Macomb County Emergency Management. “This makes training exercises like those performed today profoundly important for our first responders. By taking part in the mock drill, they can all react and respond accordingly in an active assailant situation.”
The exercise was also important for students and school staff – including school administration and safety officers who escorted students out of the building and directed first responders.
“We’re very appreciative of the support of COMTEC, the county and local law enforcement in holding today’s exercise. Our parents, students and staff did a great job making it as realistic as possible,” said Erik Edoff, superintendent of L’Anse Creuse Public Schools. “Our primary job is to educate students and focus on education, but student safety is also a top priority. Engaging in exercises of this nature help us learn and become better prepared for our student’s safety so that we can provide the best education possible on a daily basis.”