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Lanier Tech students, safety workers get lesson in emergency response
Active shooter drill allows police, EMTs to train
Capt. Wes Huff of the University of North Georgia Police Department speaks with police between active shooter drills Tuesday afternoon at Lanier Technical College. The event also allowed EMS students at the technical college to get valuable training.

Brandon Hammock gasped, gripping his lower chest wound as he reached out with a blood-soaked hand to Michael Hammond of the University of North Georgia Police Department.

“Please, officer! Officer! Help me,” Hammock screamed, wheezing as he lay across a table during Lanier Technical College’s public safety training exercise.

Hammock, along with his fellow Emergency Medical Technician students, were roleplaying through an active shooter drill Tuesday afternoon.

“The exercises have been pretty intense,” Hammock said between scenarios. “It’s exciting.”

With every scenario, of which there were four, Hammock and other wounded students switched up where they were to throw off the EMTs.

During two of the four, a fake pipe bomb was hidden to teach the students situational awareness in a situation in which tunnel vision is prevalent.

“It’s crazy that this can be like a real thing that happens,” Hammock said.

The Braselton man is less than four weeks from graduating from EMT school. While he was not able to participate, he said he was still learning.

“We’re getting training, too,” he said. From his point of view, he could see what his classmates were doing wrong and right.

Jessie Orr, another EMT student from Braselton, also played dead during the scenarios.

“The adrenaline, it’s kind of addicting,” Orr said.

The single-shooter scenario was designed to train those in EMT school as well as police officers from Oakwood, Lanier Tech and UNG’s police departments.

“They are the ones who would respond,” Strickland said. “They are the closest people to (Lanier Tech).”

Between every scenario, the teams were given feedback and debriefed on what they did wrong or right. The group was also taught that even a shooter is put under their care when they are in a situation.

Lanier Tech’s new police chief Jeff Strickland was asked by Lanier Tech President Ray Perren to conduct the safety exercise within the first 90 days of his duties.

Strickland ran for Hall County Sheriff in 2012 but lost.

A UNG film crew was also present, filming for a documentary about the EMT program at the school.