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Agencies will hold active shooter drill on Thursday

First responders and the Henderson County school system will conduct an active assailant exercise on Thursday at East Henderson High School involving five local law enforcement agencies, county school and Blue Ridge Community College personnel, EMTs, firefighters, 911 dispatchers and area hospitals.

Although the active shooter drill comes just days after back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, renewed the focus on gun violence, the local exercise has been talked about for a year and has been in the active planning stages for six months. Coordinated through a grant secured in December 2018 by Henderson County Emergency Services, the exercise is a simulated event to practice and debrief a community response to such an event.

Participants include Henderson County EMS, Henderson County public schools leadership/staff, the Henderson County Sheriff's Office, Hendersonville Police Department, Blue Ridge Community College Police, Fletcher Police Department, Laurel Park Police Department, area fire departments, the Henderson County Rescue Squad, the 911 center and area hospitals.

"We're looking at this as an opportunity to get all of our responders together, working in collaboration with the school system," Emergency Services Director Jimmy Brissie told the Board of Commissioners Monday night. "We're looking forward to the opportunity to see how well we're doing and see how we can approve."