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Mock drills held to help prepare schools, law enforcement for emergency situations

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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WDLB) -- Several Central Wisconsin agencies were involved in a mock drill Friday morning.

Mayor Chris Meyer said Marshfield officials tried to simulate what their response might look like to an active shooter with multiple victims at Marshfield High School.   “This is something that we do almost every year in the city of Marshfield, a disaster drill of some sort, specifically to evaluate how it is we actually respond. You can document things and come up with policies and procedures, but until you actually put them into play, you don’t really know how it is you’re going to respond. Every year, we find things that we don’t do quite right, and that helps us move forward and be better prepared should we ever need to activate an emergency operation center like this.”

And since the emergency was simulated at Marshfield High School, Superintendent Peg Geegan was also involved.  Geegan says, “It is testing our ability to make sure that the safety of the students is first and foremost our top priority, and this gives us an opportunity to perhaps modify, update, or increase the actions we need to take in order to ensure that safety.”

The Friday morning drill was facilitated by Joanne Wipperfurth of Pre-Emergency Planning Incorporated based in Lodi.  “It was funded through a grant through Wisconsin Emergency Management, which used to be handled by the Office of Justice Assistance. They have an exercise grant program for homeland security, and it’s a 2013 exercise grant.”

The cost of the Friday drill was roughly 14-thousand dollars, and involved multiple agencies. The drill was aimed primarily at law enforcement, and included the Marshfield Police and Fire Departments, and the Wood County Sheriff's Department. And because the drill simulated a suspicious backpack found at the scene, The Marathon County Bomb Squad was notified as well.

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