AUSTIN, Texas - The gunfire from a Camp Mabry parking lot Wednesday morning set the training exercise in motion.
The scenario involved a confrontation with a gunman and several bystanders. The drill, which puts military security forces to the test, was coordinated by Austin Police Lt Ken Hubbs.
"Bringing a lot of outside elements, working together is difficult, so the more we can do that, the better integrated we can become, and the better we are to stop the killing and stop the dying,” said Hubbs.
With the parking lot secured, the situation shifted to a nearby building. SWAT and security forces team up and follow the gunman's trail.
"You just never know what’s going to happen and we want everyone to be prepared, we want our employees to be prepared, we want our leadership here to be prepared to respond, to any threat to our employees or Camp Mabry. And that includes partnering with our local first responders and making sure we all know who to react in that situation,” said Garrison Commander Major Aimie Tibbetts.
Access into the building comes with more gunshots and more screams for help. The search went from the first floor to the second. More officers arrived, more shots are fired. The search eventually ends down a dark hallway. The drill also includes learning how to control the victims.
A LOOK INTO THE ACTIVE SHOOTER DRILL:
Kimberly Mecom played the role of a screaming victim trying to run out. "My heart was going and I was ready to get out of there. And at the same time I was trying to be as realistic as I could for the scene,” she said.
Taking out the shooter is only part of this exercise. The other part, a very important part, is getting out the survivors. Medical teams were brought in to treat the injured as security forces set up safe zones.
"People can bleed out in two minutes so we need to get tourniquets on them, we need to get Fire and EMS assets in and start getting them evacuated, even before the threat might be put down, we need to start evacuating people out of there and that’s the news concept of a rescue task force, and what we as Police, Fire and EMS have been training for the past decade to perfect and that’s what we try to do every time,” Hubbs said.
Each step of the exercise is monitored and while evaluations are done, plans for the next drill are already underway.