Vista Middle School to be site of next full-scale emergency drill

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The Ferndale School District says Vista Middle School will be the focus of a multiagency emergency preparedness exercise the afternoon of Thursday, October 12th.

Named “Operation Iron Viking,” the exercise will follow the same full-scale format used during other exercises held at Ferndale school campuses over the past few years. Participating agencies in addition to the district include Ferndale Police Department, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, US Customs and Border Protection and Whatcom County Fire District 7.

Operation Iron Viking will be an emergency scenario simulation that enables Vista Middle School staff to utilize their basic field trauma care training according to district officials.

According to a letter sent to Vista Middle School parents, students will participate in lockdown and evacuation drills prior to being dismissed beginning at 1:45pm (earlier than normal).

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After students have left campus, law enforcement agencies will arrive and conduct room searches to clear the building based on a scenario with a suspected intruder. Vista Middle School staff will use their trauma care training treating volunteer victims, some with simulated injuries including costume blood.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) helicopter arrives during the Operation Green Hornet exercise at Horizon Middle School (October 13, 2016). Photo courtesy City of Ferndale

Neighbors around the Vista Middle School campus will notice the increased law enforcement and fire/aid presence as well as a US Customs and Border Protection helicopter overhead and WCSO K9 units on the campus.

Last October, an active shooter exercise named Operation Green Hornet was conducted at Horizon Middle School. That exercise involved nearly 3 dozen agencies and was deemed the largest exercise of its kind in Washington State.


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