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Glenville Training Center Hosts Disaster Drill

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Emergency responders in Gilmer County gathered in Glenville on Tuesday for a mock disaster drill.

Crews met at the Morris Criminal Justice Training Center for the drill, which brought together agencies from all levels of government to see how well they respond to different crises as they happen.

The situation started with an active shooter inside the building. Although it may seem farfetched for the area, Director Kim Conrad said it's worth the practice.

"An active shooter situation, as we're seeing in the news every week, is a possibility anywhere, so we think its wise for our county agencies to be prepared whether it's here, at a high school, at a college, whatever," Conrad said.

While it may be the kind of incident state police and higher-level responders prepare for, it's not a situation usually faced by local law enforcement. So the center hopes to develop those skills in city and county officials, too.

"People think it can't come to a small community and it can. So we want to try and help prepare out local people. We're working with the college as you can see folks behind me are down here with us and preparing," said Richard Dorsey, who participates in training event like this across the state.

Part of the drill included escaped inmates, and officers from the Department of Corrections were able to practice skills they don't ordinarily use.

"This will be very practical experience from them, to have them mobilized and actually deal in this mock disaster, so that, from a standpoint of practical purposes, will be great training for them," said Joe DeLong, director of the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority.

Conrad said that no matter what happens with each situation, she wants each agency to learn how to share information with each other to make the people they're dedicated to protecting safe as soon as possible.

"Effective communications will be what helps us to prevent or correct a situation such as this. So that is what our goal is with this entire exercise," Conrad said.