First responders, LCS, conduct a reunification exercise during active shooter training

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – Schools in Leon County, along with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, the Tallahassee Police Department and other first responder agencies have worked together to find the best way to bring the parents with students in the event of a mass evacuation at one of the school system’s campuses.

Thursday morning’s training scenario involved an active shooter.

“I was one of the last people called and told my child was injured in the active shooting incident,” Sarah Cheatham said.

Cheatham, a student at Florida State University, volunteered to play the role of a parent to help first responders practice communicating with parents should a real-life situation arise.

Even though it was just a drill, Cheatham says the emotions were real as she fought back tears.

“I think I recognize the time I had to spend alone all day, including that moment when I found out my son had just been shot and had to go to hospital,” Cheatham said. .

Cheatham spent a lot of time alone in a room during training.

The sheriff’s office says that was one of the miscommunications encountered Thursday afternoon.

With many moving parts that go into these types of situations, Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil says these issues and other miscommunications prove why these types of formations are so important.

“We’ve had a plan for many years, but we’ve never had a chance to actually respond and so I wanted to make sure that this plan that we had in writing actually works, and that’s what we did. today,” McNeil said.

At the end of the day — though — Leon County School District Superintendent Rocky Hanna says parents can leave their kids at school and know they’re safe.

“They’re safe, our schools are safe, and we take the responsibility of keeping them safe very seriously,” Hanna said.

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