WIU prepares for emergency

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency hopes it never happens in the Tri-States, but area leaders are better prepared for it just in case.

The agency sat down with administrators and staff at Western Illinois University and law enforcement to discuss how to handle an "active shooter scenario."

It's a situation where participants pretend like someone is firing some type of weapon on campus.

KHQA spoke with several people who attended the exercise.

"It's our ongoing commitment to campus safety to make sure we have these reciprocal relationships in place with our local agencies, law enforcement agencies, emergency personnel as well as state agencies," said WIU Director of University Relations Darcie Shinberger. "It's always better to be prepared and have these emergency drills so we can work out anything that might come up."

"It's a stage of preparedness for anything that could happen this serious," said McDonough County Sheriff Rick Van Brooker. "There's so many different agencies that will be responding, so many things that could happen. It's a good idea for us to get together and get on the same level."

"I think then (during the full exercise in May) we will be acting out a lot of what we have talked about in here (today)," said WIU Director of Public Safety Robert Fitzgerald. "I would imagine there would be an active shooter involved plus a lot of other things. So other emergency agencies can practice their skills."

This exercise was designed to prepare emergency personnel for a full scale active shooter exercise, which will take place in May.