PORTAGE COUNTY EMA, CITY OF STREETSBORO PUBLIC SAFETY FORCES, CITY OF STREETSBORO SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS PORTAGE MEDICAL CENTER LEADS ACTIVE THREAT EXERCISE IN STREETSBORO, FRIDAY, OCT. 27
STREETSBORO—Residents of the area around Streetsboro Middle School will see numerous safety vehicles and personnel at the school starting at 7 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, for participation in an active threat exercise that will not involve students.
“We’re bringing together school officials, law enforcement, fire, EMS, and other key stakeholders for a critical test of our response and recovery plans to an active threat in a K-12 scenario. We’re grateful to local agencies for their involvement. This type of unified training means agencies know their role in the response and recovery and how it will go,” said Ryan Shackelford, director of the Portage County Emergency Management Agency, which is facilitating the exercise.
Residents near the school and drivers passing on State Route 303 will see more activity than usual throughout the day. PC EMA wanted to make them aware that this is a training exercise and not an actual incident, Shackelford added.
The school is located at 1900 Annalane Drive on the school campus in Streetsboro, just south of State Route 303 west of the Streetsboro Police Department station.
No students will be involved.
The exercise will include EMA staff, Streetsboro City Schools, Streetsboro Fire Department, Streetsboro Police Department, Aurora Police Department, Aurora Fire Department, Community EMS, University Hospitals Portage Medical Center, Portage County Coroner, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Ohio State Highway Patrol and Portage County Prosecutor’s Office.
“Streetsboro City Schools see this training as essential for our staff and administration to be familiar with how emergency services will respond. We will have staff involved and three classrooms at the Middle School. Students will not be part of the training,” said Michael Daulbaugh, superintendent of Streetsboro City Schools.
Shackelford explained that the Streetsboro exercise is based on an active threat program derived from NFPA 3000, an active threat preparedness standard released in 2018. The standard focuses on a more comprehensive approach to active threat situations that involves countless stakeholders in preparation for, response during, and eventual community recovery post-active threat situations.
“These full-scale exercises are invaluable for our department,” said Streetsboro Fire Chief Robert Reinholz. “This allows us to see the level of our response and then have time after to analyze how we can do it faster and better.”
The exercise will test how departments respond at the outset of the incident and how the command system works. The hospital, EMS, and fire agencies will be responding to simulated victims and how they will be given first aid or transported. The training will address how the schools, EMA, hospital system, and first responders will establish a system to reunify and support families.
“Our department appreciates the opportunity to take the skills outlined in the plan and put them into action for an exercise. You want to be ready and trained. It’s a lot of coordination on everyone’s part,” Streetsboro Police Chief Patricia Wain pointed out.
“As the main hospital system in Portage County and med-control for Streetsboro Fire Department, our ability to help receive and divert incoming patients to regional hospitals ensures effective and quick treatment for individuals who sustain significant injuries during an active threat situation, ultimately impacting survivability,” said John B. Hill, MD, Emergency Medical Physician for University Hospitals.
The Portage County Emergency Management Agency (PC EMA) operates within the realm of public safety and is tasked with the overall preparedness and resiliency mission of Portage County before, during, and after disaster incidents. You can learn more about PC EMA at https://www.portagecounty-oh.gov/emergency-management-agency.