Thursday, Jun 27, 2013
On June 4th, rangers, dispatchers, a PIO, and an aviation manager from the park participated in a full-blown training drill simulating an active shooter incident in the local middle school.
Over 200 participants from numerous agencies and schools were part of the drill, which had been planned and trained for over a nine month period. The scenario involved two gunmen, one of whom entered Eatonville Middle School in the morning and began shooting at students and teachers. A second gunman overtook a school bus arriving at the school and took students hostage.
Students, teachers, administrators from the middle, high, and elementary school all went into lockdown while the drill progressed, as a means of practicing the schools’ lockdown procedures. Two county SWAT teams were among the responders, and rangers were part of the initial entry team. Several aviation resources were also involved.
The NPS was part of the planning team for this drill, which was headed up by the Pierce County Emergency Management Department. The drill was funded by a Department of Homeland Security grant to help prepare schools and communities for and active shooter threat. Eatonville is a gateway community to Mount Rainier; many of the park’s employees live in this community and have kids attending the schools there.