Emergency Preparedness, Safety, Security

CISA and Virginia County Put School Active Shooter Protocols to the Test

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), in partnership with the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office, the Fauquier County Fire Rescue System, and Fauquier County Public Schools in Virginia, successfully conducted a full-scale active shooter/reunification exercise aimed at bolstering the safety and security of K-12 schools on June 27.

The exercise was held at Kettle Run High School and Greenville Elementary School and involved a comprehensive simulation of an active shooter scenario to evaluate and improve emergency response strategies. The exercise also focused on the reunification of affected students with participants including local law enforcement, school administrators, teachers, and emergency medical services, all of whom played crucial roles in testing the robustness of current safety protocols. 

“The lessons we learn during joint exercises like this one underscore the critical importance of collaboration between federal, state, and local entities in ensuring the safety of our schools,” said CISA Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security David Mussington.

Fauquier County Sheriff Jeremy Falls emphasized the value of joint exercises in preparing for real-world incidents. “Our primary goal is the safety and well-being of our community. This exercise provided invaluable insight into our preparedness and highlighted areas where we can further strengthen our response capabilities.” 

The exercise featured realistic scenarios, including mock injuries, evacuations, and reunification processes, allowing participants to practice coordination and communication under pressure. Key objectives included testing the speed of law enforcement response, emergency medical operations, the efficiency and safety of reuniting students with families, and communication between agencies. 

“Ensuring the safety of our students and staff is our top priority,” stated Dr. Major Warner, superintendent of Fauquier County Public Schools. “Our partnership with CISA and the Sheriff’s Office has played a crucial role in creating an even safer learning environment for our community.” 

Fauquier County Fire Rescue System Chief Kalvyn Smith echoed the value of such large-scale exercises, saying, “These scenario-based exercises demand collaboration with our first response counterparts, ensuring for the future that we are best prepared to protect and preserve our county and citizens.” 

Fauquier County Administrator Janelle Downes highlighted the importance of involving stakeholders in this exercise: “A large-scale critical incident will require a collaborative response. We are grateful for the opportunity to plan for this necessary coordination should our community ever need this response and recovery.”   

“Exercises like this are essential in identifying strengths and areas for improvement,” CISA Regional Director Bill Ryan said. “They provide a platform for continuous learning and adaptation, ensuring that we are always prepared to respond swiftly and effectively.” 

CISA noted it remains committed to supporting local communities in enhancing their security measures through training, resources, and collaborative initiatives. Exercises like this one represent a significant step in a series of ongoing efforts between CISA and local partners to safeguard schools and foster resilient communities. 

For more information on CISA school safety initiatives and resources, click here.

ALSO READ: 4 Ways Security Teams Can Protect Their Facilities from Active Shooters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *