Loma Linda hosts active shooter drill

POSTED: 04:43 PM PDT Apr 25, 2013    UPDATED: 04:43 PM PDT Apr 25, 2013 

The country remains on high alert after the Boston Marathon bombings.  Federal, state and local authorities continue to look for any possible threats of violence or suspicious activity.  Preparation is also key.  The Loma Linda University Security Department has been on high alert, educating staff, students and faculty on being alert and assisting the security department on how to react when a shooter or suspicious activity may be on the campus.  The university held a drill to test emergency preparedness and response.

Actors took part in a mock "Code Silver" or active shooter on campus.  It's good practice for what to do in an emergency.   "This is one of those incidents that you can never stop from happening, but teaching your staff how to respond is important," said Brett McPherson, the emergency management supervisor at Loma Linda.  "So they can be the best they can, in an incident like this, because it can be chaotic."

The university also teamed with the people who would respond in a situation like this: Loma Linda Fire and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.  Deputies searched the library, fake guns drawn, looking for any sign of the shooter, a real simulation of what they might see.  "These are very important to get us ready because of the events that have been taking place to just be trained," said Deputy Jeremy Cornett, from the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department.  "Be ready for something like this if it does, unfortunately take place."

Deputy Cornett and his partner found and took the gunman into custody, giving paramedics a chance to treat the injured.  Even though the blood isn't real and the screams for help come from actors, it still makes a real impression.  "Definitely drives it home a little bit, but as a professional, you don't want to get wrapped up in too much of the emotion," said Chief Jeff Roddy, a department chief from Loma Linda Fire.  "You have a job to do and you need to take care of it."

The drill also served as a good test of the university's emergency communication system.  Faculty and students received text message updates on the situation until it was finished.