ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Imagine how you would handle a tense, life-threatening situation that involves both an active shooter and an improvised explosive device.
That was the simulated scenario put to more than 200 first responders by the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG).
On Tuesday CAPCOG hosted a day-long, regional training exercise that it called “pinnacle peril.” The drill happened at the Round Rock Public Safety Training Center and involved more than 20 federal, state and local agencies.
A large group of evaluators monitored the response so that they could review the work and work with the various agencies to adjust their plans if needed.
“The training and exercises that we perform are there to make sure that first responders can work well together,” Martin Ritchey, CAPCOG’s director of homeland security, said, “whether they’re with one agency or another, that they’ve actually worked out the kinks so-to-speak in their operations so that everything works fluidly in a real emergency.”
“This is an opportunity for us to put in place our best practices on major-scale events, and practicing these events allows us to ensure that our procedures and policies have in place actually work,” Assistant Police Chief Alain Babin with Round Rock police said. “During the course of the exercise, we can make tweaks as we discover what works and what doesn’t work.”
Additionally, CAPCOG is encouraging more people to sign up online for emergency alerts and notifications through the Warn Central Texas system, which can be done here. The agency would especially like to be able to reach more people on their cell phones.
Just nine percent of people in Central Texas have registered a mobile phone with CAPCOG, according to the agency’s numbers.
The Warn Central Texas service can reach 1,268,000 sources, including land lines and voice over IP. However, 118,691 people opted in to receive the alerts on a cell phone.
If people join today, CAPCOG reiterates they’ll be among the first notified of an emergency like the ones practiced Tuesday by first responders.