Pullman police and hospital prepare for emergency with live shooter drill

PULLMAN, ID - Shots were fired in Pullman last night but it was all part of an active shooter drill for local emergency responders.

Palouse Reporter Rachel Dubrovin explains why even the actors were surprised by how realistic the drill was.

Pullman Regional Hospital teamed up with Pullman police and paramedics Sunday night to simulate an emergency.

"He's going to come in here, and that's where the majority of the actors are going to be, and he's going to start shooting," said Pullman Police Detective Sergeant Dan Hargraves.

"We wanted to test police response, the hospital staff there, who calls 911, the dispatch of the ambulance and fire, and transporting multiple patients from there to the hospital," said Pullman Police Commander Chris Tennant.

Actor yells, "Sarah!" and shoots gun.

Media had to wear earplugs because the active shooter was shooting off blanks like these, which are just as loud as the real thing.

The shooter was a trained police officer, and the victims were volunteers. Officers explained what would happen before hand, but for some, the drill was more realistic than they anticipated.

"You kind of see what the stress is like, and then it's kind of scary because you see how long it takes," said volunteer actor Ashley Yates. "It's not a millisecond, and then they're here. It truly is people waiting and suffering."

A few of the actors had some fun while playing the victim, but emergency responders treated the drill like the real thing.

"It went extremely well," said Tennant. "I think it provided a realistic experience for those people that participated in it, as much as you can artificially produce."

Pullman Police Commander Chris Tennant said exercises like this are valuable because they can draw attention to issues that the various agencies might have.

"Communication usually comes to the top of the issues on these things when they're critiqued, and yeah, we had some communication issues that we need to work on, which is great," said Tennant. "We need to know those things ahead of time."

Pullman Regional Hospital holds a training similar to this one every year so their staff is well prepared for a variety of emergency scenarios.