Pike County Times

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PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295.
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Editor Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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Active Shooter Event Conducted at Pike Middle School Last Week
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - The Pike County School System partnered with the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, the Pike County Fire Department, the Pike County EMA (Emergency Management Agency), AmeriPro EMS (Emergency Medical Services), and GEMA (Georgia Emergency Management Agency)/Homeland Security to conduct an active shooter exercise at Pike County Middle School on Monday, October 16, 2023.

16 drama students and six Middle School teachers volunteered to be victims for this drill. This exercise has been in the planning stages for almost a full year.

The last active shooter response exercise was conducted in 2017. Pike County Times was also involved with that event and saw where changes had been made to make response even better with this exercise.

Participants and observers put their thoughts and suggestions together after the scenario was completed in order to ensure the safety of students, teachers, and staff in the event of a real school situation.

Preparation for an Active Shooter Scenario

Fire trucks and Pike County Deputies were staged close by prior to the event in order to prevent alarming citizens at the number of vehicles that were going to be a part of the event. A note went out on social media and parents were notified through the school that this was only a practice exercise. The event was conducted at a time when school was not in session. Interim Superintendent Ross Iddings advised that participants were pre-tagged to either have a specific type of wound that would need to be treated by first responders and/or as a fatality to make this training as close to real life as possible. He advised that this training had been in the planning stages for almost a full year before it took place.

As the scenario began, an announcement was heard over the intercom advising that a lockdown was in place and giving instructions to teachers and staff on what to do in order to protect themselves and the students in their care.

Active Shooter Scenario Is Conducted

Iddings advised that there is a District-wide protocol in Pike County that sends a notification to every employee and parents advising of a crisis situation. Notifications would then continue at least every 15 minutes from that point forward in a real life situation until the situation was concluded.

Members of the Pike County Fire Department and deputies from the Pike County Sheriff’s Office responded after the lockdown was announced at the school.

Iddings advised that a practice scenario gave an opportunity to refine procedures and protocols in the case of an actual event like this.

This practice session allowed EMA and first responders a first-hand look at what worked and what didn’t. Every situation will be different, Iddings said, but this exercise was an opportunity to see parts of the plan which needed clarity.

The students really got into their roles as victims including screams and acting out the parts that each had been assigned. During the scenario, one of the deputies was tagged to be injured by the active shooter as well.

Active Shooter Scenario Is Concluded

As a result of the scenario, procedures were modified between law enforcement and other responders as well as the school system. Iddings advised that in the event of a real situation, there is system in place to advise parents of any injuries to their student and where their student has been taken for emergency care.

There were two separate debriefings after the event that helped refine written protocol for the Pike County School District.


The Pike County School District, the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, the Pike County Fire Department, Pike County EMA, AmeriPro EMS, and GEMA worked together in this event to critique and make improvements to procedures that are enacted in the case of an active shooter in Pike County Schools.

Pike EMA Director Jim Totten told Pike County Times after the event, “It was a great collaboration between all the different agencies to help keep our citizens safe.”

Photos from the event can be found on Pike County Times' Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pikecountytimes/.