12 INVESTIGATES: Mass shooting response training

ROANOKE, VA (WWBT) - 350 police, fire and EMS spent Thursday morning at Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke for a shooting drill.

Many of these men and women have experienced the real terror of a mass shooting. They ran to the campus Thursday to make sure they are practiced and prepared.

They planned for over a year to make this day as realistic as possible.

150 people volunteered to be the injured. Others were locked down in classrooms.

In this scenario, there were three shooters.

Campus police responded first, followed by county officers and tactical units.

With guns drawn, police had to find the shooters in the midst of dozens of people who were injured.

This drill was meant to find any problem areas that could get in the way of an efficient response, so that they can be worked out before a real emergency happens.

This was the very first time the state has practiced for a mass shooting event in the Roanoke area.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management planned out every detail of the drill for over a year.

The state has also held realistic drills for earthquakes and hurricanes. First responders even practiced for a chemical weapon-terrorist attack in the Hampton Roads area last year.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.