Addison Elementary School holds mass casualty training

Mark Rivera Image
Friday, August 4, 2023
West suburban school holds mass casualty training
An Addison, IL elementary school hosted a training to prepare for a potential mass shooting.

ADDISON, Ill. (WLS) -- It's a full-scale drill preparing for the worst case scenario: a mass casualty situation at an elementary school.

The training took place on Friday in southwest suburban Addison. More than 100 people, multiple police and emergency response departments and a slew of volunteer actors came together to test the school safety system in case the all-too-common mass shooting happens there.

"What we're trying to improve on today is getting control of that chaotic situation and trying to maximize, how fast can we reunite kids with their parents? How fast can we get the injured to the hospitals?" said Addison Police Deputy Chief Roy Selvik.

Gathering at Addison Elementary School, first responders meticulously maneuvered through the multiple moves necessary to assess a potential mass casualty situation, neutralize a shooter, remove victims and save the injured, according to Selvik. They also provided medical attention to realistic-looking wounds and actually transported victims to hospitals.

The BluePoint Alert system inside, similar to a fire alarm, connects school officials and first responders.

"It will let everyone in the building know through a PA announcement and strobes that something is happening. And then, also, through text-messaging, we can provide situational awareness through an event, and then, into reunification as well," said BluePoint Alert Solution Co-Founder John McNutt.

It was the first active shooter training in Addison in seven years, and in that time, officials said, training has changed dramatically. Now, they're working with nearly every major department in the area cross-county, in some cases, including a reunification center on the premises to try and train people to help save lives.

"There's so much that happens during these incidents that we have to know each other, and having all of those trainings together have really helped with that," said Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services Kim Lohse.

School officials, like Lohse, and local parents are involved, as role-players like Shannie Roeglin, who works in a preschool, say this training is vital.

"In the preschool, my goal is to keep those kids safe, no matter from what, who or anything. And, it's nice to know that we have this and we have a routine and a protocol and how to follow it," Roeglin said.