Retired Undersheriff Tom Bjerke and Lovelock City Police Sergeant Darrell Mancebo track down an armed assailant at the middle school during a mock active shooter training exercise in 2014.
Retired Undersheriff Tom Bjerke and Lovelock City Police Sergeant Darrell Mancebo track down an armed assailant at the middle school during a mock active shooter training exercise in 2014.
A full-scale mock active shooter field training exercise will happen on Friday, Aug. 13 at the Learning Center in Lovelock. The scenario will evaluate the response by law enforcement, emergency medical crews and other first responders to a stressful, potentially lethal situation.

Pershing County Director of Emergency Management Sean Burke presented a written preview of the scenario to the Local Emergency Planning Committee during a tabletop exercise in April.

“An armed assailant gains access to Pershing County High School facilities and shoots multiple students and staff. At least six are wounded in the first 10 minutes and the assailant remains at large somewhere inside the facility.”

LEPC members were asked to consider a coordinated response to the mock shooting. What agency will take the lead? What other agencies will respond and what outside resources will be called for? What personnel will handle evacuees, victims, family, onlookers and the media?

It has been almost seven years since the last full-scale active shooter training in Lovelock. 

In August 2014, armed Sheriff’s Deputies, Lovelock City, Tribal and NHP officers searched the middle school until an armed assailant played by a student was tracked down and apprehended. Other volunteers played wounded and dead victims scattered on the ground outside the building with body makeup and signs to show medics where they had been shot.

Sheriff Jerry Allen is in charge of the sequence of tactical events for this year’s active shooter scenario. After an 8 a.m. pre-briefing, the event will begin at 10 a.m. with a debriefing at 1 p.m.

Due to a staff shortage, Sheriff Allen wasn’t certain how many of his people might participate.

“Since we just made this plan yesterday, I am not sure how far we will go to make this happen,” he said after the meeting. “I am still numerous staff members down and I need to get with my staff who would be the ones responding to see what resources we can provide for this.”



GRANTS AWARDED

Burke outlined three grants he obtained for first responders and health care providers.

A SERC (Nevada State Emergency Response Commission) OPTE (Operations, Training and Equipment) grant worth $28,960 will cover the cost of new SCBAs (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) for Pershing County fire departments, Burke said.

A UWS (United We Stand) Grant $21,936 will fund Sheriff’s Office training and equipment.

“That is going to fund an active shooter instructor, crisis negotiations training, tactical kevlar helmets and individual first aid kits for tactical operations,” Burke said. 

A Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health grant of $56,000 will help cover vaccination services provided by county health officials,  Pershing General Hospital and the Sheriff’s Office. 



COVID-19 UPDATE

Pershing County Health Officer Dr. Kamin Van Guilder said the county has had “a bit of a reprieve” from the pandemic. The last confirmed case of COVID-19 was on June 22, she said. 

Vaccinations continue with about 30 to 34 percent of the local population vaccinated. Vaccines are still available by appointment on Wednesdays at the Pershing County Health Nurse Office. 

So far, the vaccines seem to provide protection against the Delta COVID-19 variant but Dr. Van Guilder recommended that Pershing County residents “still need to be careful.”

A Lovelock resident was reportedly awarded $5,000 in the state vaccination lottery.



EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER

A new Pershing County Emergency Operations Center is still in the works but the completion date was not determined. The EOC will be located in the community center and will serve as the central command for first responders during natural disasters and mass casualty events.

Burke applied for an Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) to fund the EOC. 

“In that grant, we did apply for all the stuff that would be required to equip the EOC,” Burke said. “Tables, chairs, computers, copiers, printers, TV’s, all the stuff to make it fully functional.”



A law enforcement officer looks for an armed assailant during the 2014 active shooter training. 

DEBRA REID

Lovelock Review-Miner