What was the Active Mass Shooter Training like at Estes Park Highschool?

See for yourself in with our new video of the training.

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I was laid out between two glass doors, coming in from the main entrance of Estes Park High School. It was a side entrance, and the door could not close because of where I lay half in and half out.

The smell of smoke filled the air as a strobing light flashed, and the electronic blare fire alarm sounded loud as the intercom instructed students to lock down and shelter in place. There were several large explosions in the cafeteria and then the sounds of the police rushing in. It was only minutes from the sounds of the simulated explosions and gunfire that the two-person team ripped down the hallway and engaged the shooter, who, luckily enough, was our own Assistant Town Administrator Jason Damweber, just playing the part of the bad guy.

As I lay there hearing the sounds of screaming and chaos, I thought to myself, this has been a nightmare, a worst-case scenario for so many children. But for many, it was some of the last scenes they would ever experience in their short lives.  

It also ran through my head as I lay there, pretending to be unconscious with a gunshot wound to my abdomen, that my daughters and granddaughter and the other kids here in our beautiful mountain community could very well experience the real thing right here in the place they come to learn every schoolday. I, along with many others from our community, we’re helping our local law enforcement agencies become better prepared for what seemed unthinkable, yet ever more common, the possibility of responding to a school shooting.

I am thankful that our law enforcement (Including the Park Service), volunteer fire district, EMS, dispatch, local government, school staff, citizens, and even students are taking this threat seriously and preparing for the unthinkable.

I counted roughly seventy volunteers (not including first responders) who partook in this Tuesday's exercise. And as a father, grandfather, and local citizen, I would like to thank all those who participated—especially the Estes Park Police Department, for organizing the training.

PS - It has been over six years since I have done any video work/editing. I also haven’t had time to produce my intro animation and camera work as I would like. I am also getting used to the settings of my new GoPro camera. Please bear with me—it will get better!


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