Huntsville first responders conduct emergency response drill at Grissom High School

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Huntsville first responders all geared up and gathered together Wednesday for an emergency response drill. The location was at Grissom High School. The emergency? At first, no one knew.

"All the role players, including most of the police personnel, did not know all the logistics of this situation," explained Lt. Michael Johnson, HPD.

This makes the drill as real as possible so responders can react in real-time.

"It's critical to reveal to us where we need to tweak something or make something better," Lt. Johnson said. "But overall, it's about communications and keeping resources fluid."

The scenario revealed itself to be two juvenile active shooting suspects inside the school with multiple victims.

In a situation like this, practice may not make perfect, but it sure does make everyone more prepared.

"If you did have something that happened, everyone has an understanding of how to let things unfold," said Keith Ward with Huntsville City Schools.

Law enforcement would have control of the scene, and school personnel would focus on communication and support.

"The biggest thing for us is communications between the agencies," said Capt. Frank McKenzie. "It's a multi-company drill, multi-agency drill."

Huntsville Fire and Rescue and HEMSI focused on transporting patients to safe areas and performing as much patient care as possible in between, including treatment to the students and teachers.

"You can't predict what will happen, but you can prepare for what might happen," Ward said.

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