Local officials prepare for unexpected

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Local safety officials met with Madisonville CISD on Wednesday for an emergency management training tabletop exercise to discuss the procedure and options in case of an active campus shooter or similar situation.

“It’s great to be in a community that cares so much for one another and will work as a team, as a family, for the benefit of all,” said Madisonville CISD Superintendent Keith Smith. “We’re very thankful for these relationships we have and will continue to work with our local and state agencies to protect our students and staff.”

The tabletop exercise covered potential scenarios as well as in depth discussions on the roles each agency would play in each situation provided. Participants were given a platform to address any questions they might have with a broad range of agencies represented. They were also able to pinpoint locations of which they would perform their duties in the hypothetical scenario.

MCISD, Madisonville P.D., Madison County S.O., Madison County Office of Emergency Management, Madisonville VFD, North Zulch VFD, NZISD, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Monterey Mushrooms all had one or more participants at the exercise. The meeting was led by Madison County Emergency Management Coordinator Shelly Butts.

“I’m very appreciative of the interest and participation of our school administration and local responders,” said Butts. “They are proactive in planning for incidents that could affect our schools and community, regardless of the specific scenario.”

While the event came in light of recent school shooting incidents across the country, Butts stressed the benefits of an exercise like this for a broad range of unpredictable situations.

“Many of the plans, policies and practices developed through these types of meetings are flexible enough to assist us in many types of incidents,” said Butts. “Ultimately, the relationships and sharing of information and knowledge prior to an actual event is our greatest asset in the moment itself.”

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