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Police, emergency workers practice active shooter scenario at Central High



Responders practice an emergency drill at Central High School on Mar. 28, 2024 (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

Students and emergency responders participated in a staged active-shooter exercise Thursday at Central High School.

Local agencies and Gundersen Health System conducted the exercise inside the school.

Several Central students took part in the drill, with many playing the role of shooting victims, covering themselves with stage blood.

Students taking part in a police drill at Central smear themselves with stage blood on March 28, 2024 (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

Only a few people at the school knew exactly what was planned in advance and responders had to react as if in real life, said Dr. Kimberly Lansing from Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.

“Teachers involved don’t know what’s happening, and neither do the police or fire or EMT people that are just part of the response team,” Lansing told reporters. “The only people that know what’s going to happen are the chiefs, and so everybody’s going to have to react, sort of, off the seat of their pants.”

The yearly exercise was arranged by students with the Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine. The drill took about an hour, on one floor of Central.

Emergency workers tend to student who pretended to be shot during police exercise at La Crosse Central on March 28, 2024 (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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