Active Assailant Training Drill held at the Newaygo County Governmental Complex
Newaygo County – In the afternoon of August 22, 2017, the Newaygo County Governmental Complex accomplished something that has not been done in the State of Michigan before. All local, County, and State Government offices closed to the public so employees could participate in a realistic training drill. The drill was based on an active assailant within the Newaygo County Courthouse.
Newaygo County Administrator Christopher Wren stated “I couldn’t have been more proud as a County Administrator to see the efforts put forth during the Active Assailant training drill by all those involved; the safety of every employee and visitor on our campus is second to none. Further, the collaboration of so many emergency agencies is a true testament to the commitment of working together to protect life and property across all jurisdictions.”
In addition to the hundreds of government employees, the active assailant training drill involved 43 local public safety officials from the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, four local police departments, seven local fire departments, Newaygo County Central Dispatch, Life EMS, and Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Hospital. “How we respond to an active assailant incident is changing,” said Newaygo County Emergency Services Director Abby Watkins. “It takes a coordinated and cohesive effort between employees and public safety to save lives and prevent further harm from occurring.”
This training drill allowed for employees and public safety officials to work together to test new response techniques and procedures. “I believe it is important for employees to take part in this type of training,” said Sheriff Bob Mendham. “Training empowers employees to act quickly and knowledgeably during an incident. It provides them with a better understanding of what would happen should a real incident occur.”
The training drill was conducted after months of planning, meetings, and several trainings for employees and public safety officials. “The extensive planning and training in preparation of the exercise highlights the level of expertise Ms. Watkins brings to Emergency Management in Newaygo County,” said Administrator Wren. “Director Watkins exemplifies the dedicated employees we have in Newaygo County.
The County of Newaygo would like to extend a special thank you to all of the agencies involved. “This training drill would not have been possible without the support and commitment from all of the agencies involved,” stated Watkins. “The level of teamwork and progressive strides to make community a safer place to work and live is truly inspiring.”