In many instances, police officers from neighboring areas must work together during emergency situations.
Officers and officials from the Oakmont, Verona and Plum area know the importance of teamwork during those instances, so they got together at the Allegheny County 911 center last week for an emergency tabletop training.
Chief David DiSanti organized the training, which involved officers from , Oakmont, and Harmar police departments; the ; Riverview School District officials; Oakmont and Verona government officials; and Lower Valley Emergency Medical Services.
Rob McCafferty, training officer for Allegheny County Emergency Services, helped to facilitate the training.
DiSanti and McCafferty worked on organizing the training for months.
"This is a good exercise because everyone gets to work together and put a face to a name," McCafferty said.
During the training, officers and officials acted out a situation in which a truck crashed into the cafeteria. Subsequent to the crash, a fire breaks out, a shooter is at large and students report being shot.
As officers and officials were presented with information, they responded to matters as they would should the incident actually occur—calling for backup from neighboring communities, setting up a command center and a perimeter, handling parents and the press, working with the school district and strategizing on how to handle the situation inside the school.
DiSanti said he was interested in offering a training for emergency situation because departments often rely on each other and on the community officials for help.
"We count on each other for mutual aid," he said. "This is a great way for everyone to think and coordinate together."