Marion County Rescue Groups Team Up with Rasmussen College for Mock Scenarios
OCALA, Fla. -- A robbery, car accident, hostage situation and a homicide all happened at an Ocala Publix -- thankfully it was all a drill.
It was all part of a mock scenario involving college students, law enforcement and public safety personnel.
TV20's Niko Clemmons takes look at the training for these real-life situations.
After two months of planning, Ramussen College students participated in Marion County's rescue mock scenario, to get to know the different rescue agencies and how to work with them, so they can work as a team in case of a real-life emergency.
Marion County SWAT, Ocala Police Department and Fire Rescue are just a few of the agencies that participated in the exercise.
Medical assisting and criminal justice students shadowed the different agencies while the action was taking place.
They observed every aspect, from the car crash, to the extrication and treatment of the victim, to the hostage situation and homicide.
Captain Lonnie Blackburn of Marion County Fire Rescue Support Services talked to us about how drills such as these can help people to understand the extent of what local law enforcement does, stating, "People have a tendency, like with law enforcement, to look at Ocala Police Department for example, to think all they do is write tickets, when actually they've got a hundred different jobs that are within Ocala Police Department. So this enables them to see at least a handful of those."
This is the first time something like this has taken place at the college.
Someone even described it to Captain Blackburn as Christmas morning --there was a big build-up and then it's all over within a couple hours.
Michele Waters just started the medical program in July, but says she's always had a desire to help people and make them comfortable. She spoke about the event saying, "I think school training or wherever you're at, to have some knowledge in case this does happen, to remain calm and be alert, and like I said, it's very for real what happened. You never know if something like this could happen and it's good training."
Other students like Elizabeth Latson says the simulation made her appreciate all the teaching she's received in the last year, stating, "It prepares us for the real world in case we're some place, not knowing where we might be in school, might be at home, or might be in the grocery store and hostage situations take place; it prepares us to be ready to know how to act and know what to do in case this happens in real life."
But she hopes no time soon.
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