Bath and Richfield first responders hold safety drill at Revere High School

by Laura Bednar

Revere Local Schools held a multijurisdictional safety drill on Aug. 18, at the high school. Police and fire departments from both Bath Township and Richfield participated along with safety force members from Brecksville Police, Broadview Heights Police, Copley Police, Cuyahoga Falls Police, Fairlawn Police, Metro SWAT, National Park Police and the Summit County Sheriff.

Revere School Resource Officer Scott Dressler said he wished we didn’t have to practice drills like this but it is unfortunately the world in which we live.

He added, “80% of this is for our first responders.”

Superintendent Michael Tefs said that school safety drills are “specifically designed to educate safety forces and employees on crisis systems and protocols.”

Dressler addressed staff before the drill began and said the training tactics they were to practice were “run” or “hide.” Staff members were told to go to a classroom to start. While locking the classroom door was not a part of the drill, Dressler said, “If that’s something you normally do, do it. We want this to be muscle memory.”

The school’s fire alarm, lockdown button and 9-1-1 were all in play. If teachers or staff members called 9-1-1, they were asked to preface the call with, “This is a drill.”

In addition to a fire in the building, part of the drill included an officer firing blanks in the hallway to imitate an active shooter. In the scenario, there were two active shooters who were dead by the end of the drill. People playing injured staff or students were crying out for help from the cafeteria with gunshot wounds or other injuries.

Observers not involved in the drill could watch police and fire tackling each problem from TV screens in the cafeteria, which showed 16 frames of security camera footage throughout the school. Agencies met for a debriefing after the scenario.

“Every drill you do, there are still going to be one or two things to improve on,” said Dressler. “It was great training for the law enforcement and training forces. We have a lot to work on but overall, I am pleased with the way it went.”

Following the drill, staff members could also participate in CPR and other life-saving training at Revere Middle School. ∞

An officer takes an injured student in the drill to receive medical attention. Photos by Laura Bednar.

Officers stand with guns as they oversee a patient transport.

Police check to make sure the hallway is clear of intruders or other safety issues.

Revere staff members watch the drill from the viewpoint of several security cameras on a screen in the cafeteria. Photo by Laura Bednar.

Photo (main – above): Police cars and ambulances filled the Revere High School parking lot. Photo courtesy of Elaina Goodrich.