Dark, smoke-filled hallways.
Victims injured and bloodied.
And two active shooters at large.
That was the scenario inside Lecanto High School as Citrus County deputies practiced for the real thing Thursday morning.
“To put on a drill of this scale and magnitude we train and they have the concept. But if you ask any of the guys, just this little bit of stress is a totally different experience from what we normally train,” said Lt. Dave Vincent.
The main goal of this drill is to improve communication between sheriff’s deputies and the medical teams that come in to treat the wounded, ensuring they can help, without becoming victims too.
“To save lives you’ve got to get people to the hospital and get them care as quickly as possible. And just standing by and waiting for things to get secure on the outside is not the best course of action,” said Vincent.
This drill was planned before the mass shooting at Pulse Orlando.
And while Thursday’s simulation was at a school, officials say the strategies can apply anywhere.
Citrus County is just one of two places in the state where the sheriff’s office also overseas fire rescue.
And because of that, officials said it helps teamwork come through.
“We understand. We all work together. We are on the same page when it comes to this. It’s just a matter of practicing and getting our training in place for our guys,” Vincent.
The Sheriff’s office said if you are caught in situation like this, first priority is evacuating.
Otherwise, they said find a safe place to hide and wait for first responders to come and help.
In the end, deputies shot and killed the suspects in this drill.
And the surviving victims were brought out to safety.
This is the same school, where just last year, law enforcement thought there really was an active shooter.
It turned out to be one student who attempted suicide, by shooting himself in a classroom.