MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Sirens rung through the streets as first responders raced to rescue frantic students.
This active shooter drill is done every other year to prepare law enforcement and paramedics in the event of a real-life emergency.
"The decisions that our students are making now, even in the simulation, can determine whether a person lives or dies," said Kathy McKay, Nursing Instructor at Meridian Community College.
Eleven weeks into 2018, the number of school shootings is alarming. A disturbing total of 17 where someone was injured or killed, but emergency responders say this drill was planned before these tragedies occurred.
"And this drill was actually planned before the Florida shooting. So we are very grateful for our police staff at MCC and for Chief Williams for being proactive rather than reactive in training, even us as faculty on what to do," said McKay.
The best way to learn is by mistakes, and the Chief says plenty were made in the training exercise.
"Everything did not go right here today. We had things that went wrong. And some people would say, ‘Well then, it was a failure.’ No. That means that's really what I consider a success because you learn from it," said MCC Police Chief Shane Williams.
The errors here however better prepare responders to keep you or a loved one safe in the face of danger.
"If everything went spot on and everything went perfect, that was not like a spot-on real world event. In those events, things go wrong. Things don't work. Communication breaks down. And that's what we had here today," said Chief Williams.
Some of the many agencies that took part in the drill included: MCC’s Police Department, The Meridian PD, Marion PD and several other MCC Departments. This is the 5th year the school has done disaster response training.