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Granite Shoals first responders training July 22 at elementary school

Highland Lakes Elementary School

The Granite Shoals police and fire departments will hold training exercises most of the day Thursday, July 22, at Highland Lakes Elementary School, 8200 RR 1431 in Granite Shoals. File photo

The Granite Shoals police and fire departments will be conducting training exercises from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, July 22, at Highland Lakes Elementary School. The street leading to the campus, H.A. Barnett Road, will be closed to the public during those hours.

Capt. Chris Decker of the Granite Shoals Police Department said the first responders are doing the training for one reason.

“Because we want to,” he said. “Most are related to high-risk scenarios. Hopefully, we’ll never have to use this training, but if it happens, we can respond and give the best service to our citizens. We’re making it as realistic as we can.”

The participants, including the department’s special missions team, will be training in all sorts of scenarios, including active shooters, hostages, barricades, and others. They’ll work through crowd control, public information, and other tasks to ensure they’re sharp. As many as 15 individuals will be training at the campus after the first responders received special permission from the Marble Falls Independent School District to use the campus. They’ll divide into two-person, three-person, and four-person units. 

“Our own employees will be working as bad guys,” Decker said. “We’ll use videotape for training purposes so they can improve after experiencing the different scenarios. There’s going to be lots of people there.”

The captain said the two departments were spreading the word about the training in case residents notice things out of the ordinary on the campus such as what appears to be smoke and hear unusual noises and sounds.

“Guys will work on stuff on how they move and operate,” he said. “It’s special operations to clear things and different things they’ve been trained on. We’ll go through every aspect we can do in a short timeframe. We’ll have training within our core group and get better within our group here.”