MARGATE, Fla. – Margate police and Margate Fire Rescue officials are getting ready to respond to emergencies as children get ready to head back to school.
That's why first responders participated in an active shooter drill Friday that looked very real.
In an active shooter scenario, officers and firefighters learned firsthand what to do if a shooting were to ever happen at one of the schools in their city.
In the drill, Margate police were dispatched to the scene of a simulated shooting at Margate Elementary School with multiple casualties reported.
"This isn't something that we encounter everyday. You know, like a normal routine type of thing, where you get used to dealing with this," Margate Police Sgt. Robert Kriplean said. "This is something that is a once in a lifetime thing, so this type of training allows us to be able to be prepared on how to handle it, what we're going to be faced with and, again, to deal with it."
In case of an active shooter, police would move in first to assess the situation and neutralize the shooter.
Once it’s safe, fire rescue would move in.
Firefighters would then search for those who were wounded in the shooting and work to get them to safety.
"When a real-life situation happens, you know, you almost revert back to your training," Kriplean said.
Training personnel said live-action scenarios are essential in preparing officers and fire rescue for if and when an active shooting were to occur.
"Both the police and the fire rescue have the same objectives," Margate Fire Rescue Division Chief Tye Vassil said. "But when we work together, sometimes we don't speak the same language. So in real time, on a drill like this, we get to function together as a unified command, and it's very important."