The Weston Police, all-volunteer Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and Volunteer Fire Department conducted intense training today for violent school situations.
The police have conducted similar exercises in the past, but this is the first time they were joined by fire, EMS, regional medics, the FBI, and neighboring law enforcement agencies.
Police Chief Edwin Henion explained the purpose of joint training. "If there were ever an actual crisis like this in Weston," he said, "all of our services would respond together. So it's important that we train together."
Weston school district staff, members of the Police Commission, and others observed the exercise, which was conducted at Hurlbutt Elementary School and consisted of simulations of two violent incidents. In the morning, those involved received training from Joshua Chiarini, who specializes in the field. Mr. Chiarini served three tours as a corpsman in Iraq, and was awarded the Silver Star for life-saving gallantry under fire.
Volunteer Fire chief John Pokorny described the training as "extremely useful." EMS chief Michael Schlechter agreed, saying "We saw a lot of things we do really well, and a couple of things we need to work on. We strive to be the very best at all times, so this was a valuable experience."
Police Chief Ed Henion previously said "We always hope we will never have an incident like what has happened in other places, and our school security plan is designed to prevent one. But you always have to be prepared."