The fire alarm system wailed as police officers, weapons drawn, fanned out through an office building in Fairfax on Tuesday. Shooting victims lay on the floor. The officers were searching for someone with a gun, a person known, in police jargon, as an “active shooter.”
But the office building was vacant. The bullets in the guns weren’t real and the victims were acting. It was all part of a massive exercise involving nearly 3,000 police officers and firefighters in Fairfax County, all of whom were training to respond to that active shooter situation.
The FCPD and FCFD are said to be among the few public safety teams in the country to conduct such large-scale joint training, which involves first responders from different entities working together. The training will last six weeks. The ultimate goal for the participants is to stop the active shooter and tend to casualties.
DRILL DRILL DRILL: #FCFRD is training alongside @fairfaxpolice today to prepare for active shooter incidents. Officers and firefighters are participating in multiple scenarios designed to be as realistic as possible. pic.twitter.com/SEbtJ3Aq8I
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) April 17, 2018