Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Ocala, Florida School Shooting

EDM Friday Briefing: Ocala, Florida School Shooting

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for April 20, 2018: Two sheriff's deputies in Florida were shot and killed in a restaurant on Thursday, a 911 operator has been sentenced to jail and probation for hanging up on 911 callers, the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Salt Lake City hosted a simulated earthquake aftermath drill for the Great Utah ShakeOut, at a regional emergency management meeting, the FEMA director urges Georgia to get prepared for hurricanes and hazards, Washington, D.C. launches a new program using triage nurses within its 911 system, an airport mock disaster training helps prepare the Rincon Valley for airplane and mass casualty incidents, the center of Berlin, Germany was evacuated for a World War II bomb defusing and removal, police are on guard in New York following a threat by the MS-13 gang that urges its members to "take out" police officers, and a school shooting in Ocala, Florida early Friday morning injuries one student.

  1. Two Gilchrist County sheriff's deputies were shot and killed at a restaurant in Trenton, Florida on Thursday afternoon. The deputies are believed to have been ambushed by the shooter, who shot them through the window of the Ace China restaurant at about 3:00 p.m. When responding officers arrived at the scene, they found the shooter deceased nearby the restaurant, but authorities were unclear if the gunman had killed himself.  
  2. A 911-operator in Harris County, Texas has been sentenced to jail then probation for hanging up thousands of times on emergency calls. The dispatcher, Crenshanda Williams, 44, was investigated for the number of short calls--20 seconds or less--that the former dispatcher had between October of 2015 and March of 2016. Williams was accused of hanging up on calls that included vehicles traveling at high rates of speed and one that was reporting a violent burglary in progress.   
  3. A practice drill at the Shriners Hospitals for Children, that included Salt Lake City firefighters and emergency medical service personnel, along with search and rescue teams, was meant to simulate a likely situation at the hospital following an earthquake of a 7.0 magnitude. The drill took place on Thursday, April 19, and was part of the Utah Great ShakeOut, helping first responders and medical care facilities become prepared for the aftermath of a major earthquake. The drill included local high school students as victims and it was the first drill where mulage was used--make up and fake injuries, and debris--to truly simulate an actual incident. 
  4. The Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Brock Long, addressed a group of regional emergency managers in Savannah at a conference Wednesday, stating that he believed the State of Georgia is unprepared for a hurricane or major hazard. The FEMA administrator noted that he believes Georgia citizens are complacent and have "hurricane and hazard amnesia", but pointed out that the state was impacted 14 times by hurricanes in a 50 year span. Brock urged preparedness, and noted that if the new federal law for pre-mitigation disaster assistance is passed, local communities would have funding available to help prevent damages during a hazard.  
  5. In an effort to free ambulances for the most serious cases, Washington, D.C. launched a new program on Thursday that will incorporate the use of a nurse triage line for some 911 calls. One in four calls in the district is not an actual emergency and those non-emergency calls will be routed to a triage nurse experienced in emergency medicine. The triage nurse will then help determine if the caller needs to go to urgent care or to a doctor's office, and for most cases, transportation via Lyft or a taxi will be provided immediately.  
  6. The Charles Schulz-Sonoma County Airport held a mass casualty drill simulating an airplane crash on Wednesday involving the Rincon Valley Fire Protection District, airport staff, and local first responders. The drill involved extrication, fire suppression, rescue, emergency medical intervention, and aircraft fire and hazard mitigation, and is a mandatory training drill required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) every three years for airports. Two hospitals also participated in the drill by receiving 40-50 patients from the simulated incident, and participants noted that the drill also helped prepare everyone for any other type of mass casualty incident that might occur in the area.  
  7. The center of Berlin, Germany has been evacuated so bomb experts can defuse and remove a World War Two era bomb that was discovered Wednesday during construction work in the area. The 1,102 pound British aerial bomb is considered stable until the bomb is moved, which is why the evacuation was needed. The evacuation affected the city's main train station, impacting thousands of passengers, and all buildings within a half mile of the bomb were evacuated. More than 2,000 tonnes of bombs and live ammunition are unearthed across Germany each year.  
  8. As New York authorities crack down on the MS-13 street gang, a confidential informant allegedly told police that the gang reportedly ordered its members to take out/shoot police officers. Police in the towns of Nassau and Hempstead on Long Island were specifically cited as targets according to reports. The threat has police ratcheting up patrols and working diligently to track down all leads relating to the threat, while a memo cautioned law enforcement members to be vigilant and to change lifestyles and work habits accordingly.  
  9. One student was shot at a high school in Ocala, Florida early Friday morning. Reports indicate that a student was shot in the leg at Forest High School, and police allegedly have the shooter in custody.  The school was on lockdown as authorities asked residents to avoid the area and school officials noted that information about parent and child reunification would be forthcoming. The shooting comes on the anniversary of the Columbine High School mass shooting that occurred on April 20, 1999.  

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.