Rockford Emergency Drill Set for Thursday

By Matt Rodewald

Published 09/16 2013 09:33PM

Updated 09/16 2013 10:16PM

ROCKFORD (WTVO) -- Monday's events in Washington, DC remind us that a similar situation can happen anywhere. That's one reason Steve Kirschbaum help put together an active shooter drill this week.

"We are testing it not only to ensure our staff is safe, but that our patients and visitors are safe," says Kirschbaum, who’s been planning the drill since early May.
   
A massive response drill will take place Thursday morning. More than 1,000 fire, 1,000 police and personnel from the Winnebago County Coroners Office and Rockford Public School District #205 will simulate an active shooter at SwedishAmerican Hospital
   
"We felt that is was important to include all the participating agencies because they would have a role to play if something did happen," says Kirschbaum
   
The hospital is next door to Lincoln Middle School, Thursday will be a chance to simulate a school lockdown.
   
"I'm actually looking forward to law enforcement coming through and giving us feedback on what we did well and what we can improve on,” says Jason Grey, the school’s principal
   
"After the Sandy Hook tragedy last year, it opened up a lot of dialogue with our students." 
   
The biggest focal point seems to be communication.
   
"Because usually that’s one of the first things that fails,” says Kirschbaum.
   
"We're not being told much, which is a good thing,” Grey said. “They'll actually see how we would act in a disaster and how the kids would react and staff."

It’s a chance for everyone to learn from their mistakes, then back to learning for the kids.
   
"It's just a drill, parents,” Grey said. “We're doing it for the safety of our children and we hope to be done in 15 minutes."

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