Erie Police, Fire departments join Saint Vincent Hospital, EmergyCare in active shooter drill

Erie Police and Fire department personnel took part in an active shooter drill on March 29, 2023, at EmergyCare, 1926 Peach St.

Wednesday’s hoax calls about an active shooter at Erie High School, which was part of a state-wide campaign of false emergency calls yesterday, echoes a need for mass shooting training and preparedness. Less than an hour after emergency personnel wrapped up the training simulation at EmergyCare, Erie Police responded to the Erie High School hoax.

The active shooter training at EmergyCare, which had been in the works for months, involved staff at Saint Vincent Hospital and EmergyCare as well as about 25 actors portraying shooting victims. The simulation was designed to train emergency personnel on how to respond to a mass shooting.

During the drill, Erie Police Department officers used special training weapons to fire blank rounds, killing the “suspect” who was portrayed by an Erie Police Department officer. Erie Fire Department firefighters also took part helped EmergyCare and Saint Vincent Hospital simulation participants remove and care for the “victims.”

“This type of training is critical for the City’s preparedness,” said Erie Police Chief Dan Spizarny, who was on site at the shooting drill with his command staff, including Deputy Chief William Marucci, who was the EPD’s planning coordinator for the drill. Erie Fire Department Deputy Chief Fred Gillespie led the Fire Department’s planning at the event

“Whether it’s a school or workplace, crisis incidents are happening more frequently across the country,” said Spizarny. “It’s just a matter of when. Are we prepared is the question. I believe we are.”

Erie Police and firefighters, along with personnel from Saint Vincent Hospital and EmergyCare, take part in an active shooter drill, conducted on March 29, 2023 at EmergyCare, 1926 Peach St. in Erie. CHRISTOPHER MILLETTE/CITY OF ERIE
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