Hood River School Violence Task Force Drill Builds Collaboration Among Public Safety Partners (Photo)
Chief Deputy Brian Rockett consults with HRCSD Superintendent Dan Goldman as HRCSO Sgt. Jesse Flem looks on.
HOOD RIVER, ORE. - On Saturday, November 7, roughly 65 local first responders including Law Enforcement, Fire and EMS, Hood River County School District, hospitals, emergency management and 911 staffs, gathered at Hood River Valley High School for a closed campus safety drill, simulating a four-hour active shooter event. The purpose of the training was to test responders and communication systems as part of ongoing, multiagency collaboration that has worked together for many years to coordinate and refine emergency response.
In addition to the Hood River Sheriff's Office and Hood River Police Department, several other law enforcement partner agencies participated, including Oregon State Police, Wasco County Sheriff's Office, Skamania County Sheriff's Office, The Dalles Police and Bingen-White Salmon Police Departments.
Chief Deputy Sheriff Brian Rockett of Hood River Sheriff's office was Incident Commander in the drill, as part of a collaborative Unified Command leadership structure with Hood River Fire and Hood River County School District. Sheriff Matt English was the drill Evaluator.
All five local fire agencies in Hood River County participated, including Hood River, Parkdale, Wy'East, Westside and Cascade Locks Fire Departments, whose responders triaged and treated patients on scene - Teddy Bears with various injuries. Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital and MCMC hospital in The Dalles also participated.
Thirteen School District personnel participated including Superintendant Dan Goldman.
"We are grateful for the support of our local public safety partners to come in on a Saturday for drills and trainings such as these," said Goldman. "The District is pleased to partner and host this event, with school and student safety as a top priority in the District's 20/20 Vision."
"This drill is one of two annual drills the School Task Force planned and held this year. It's a result of a longtime local collaboration among Gorge-wide public safety agencies and critical stakeholders," English said. "Partnership is what the community of Hood River is all about. It's also critically important to help augment small public safety agency staffs in the Gorge. It's especially valuable to plan, train and work together, when it's not a real incident," English said.
The next Task Force drill will be in summer 2016 - a Cascadia Rising earthquake drill, held in concert with statewide emergency response agencies across OR, WA and Idaho.
The Hood River County School Violence Prevention Task Force is a cross-agency team of responders in Hood River County that started training and planning to address school safety in 2008. They conduct monthly meetings and annual drills to test plans and readiness.