First responders drill active shooter situations at Potter School

Aug 18, 2022

Dartmouth Police, Fire, and EMS departments are holding active shooter training drills at Potter Elementary School this week to make sure first responders are prepared in the event of an emergency.

Police spokesperson Det. Kyle Costa said the departments usually hold active shooter drills annually and have practiced school situations before, but are focusing on them more specifically this year because of “everything that’s going on nationally.”

Costa said the drills would continue for the rest of the week, but he could not reveal details about the strategies the departments employ when dealing with active shooters.

“Bad guys read the paper too,” he said. “We don’t want to give away our secrets.”

He said that the departments are notified in advance that they will be participating in the drills, but they are not given any details about what to expect.

“That’s the best way to do it,” he said. “When you’re going into training like this, you don’t want to know what the situation is ahead of time.”

Costa explained that keeping responders in the dark about the specifics until the call comes in makes the simulation more realistic and better prepares them for a real emergency.

The situations are devised by Dartmouth Police Department’s firearms and defense tactics instructors who oversee the drills and critique the departments’ performances afterward.

“Our firearms instructors are always ahead of the curve,” Costa said.