The Olson Group, Ltd. (OGL) was the prime contractor for a multi-year exercise contract with the Commonwealth of Virginia. OGL was responsible for the development, logistics, conduct and evaluation of regional and statewide exercises addressing the full range of natural and man-made hazards.
Over the two contract years, OGL designed, developed, conducted, and evaluated several exercises involving universities, colleges, and other key school systems. OGL conducted eight active shooter exercises involving both primary and secondary school systems, including elementary, high school and university level. In addition, as part of a Virginia statewide exercise, we worked with the University of Virginia, assisting them in conducting an earthquake scenario exercise. Of these eight exercises, three of them (Germanna Community College, Southwest Virginia Community College and Tidewater Community College) participated an exercise active shooter series. These series of exercises started with a tabletop exercise in which the local response agencies and particular school system discussed their active shooter plans and procedures and ended up with a full-scale exercise at a specific school where the participants demonstrated their ability to respond to an active shooter situation. Local law enforcement, fire, EMS, state agencies and school officials were active participants in the development, conduct and evaluation of the exercises. After Action Reports were developed, and several areas for improvement were identified, with pertinent plans and procedures being updated accordingly. All these exercises provided valuable interactive learning opportunities for the local and state response agencies and school officials. The process also served to enhance their capability as part of a coordinated and unified response to a school active shooter situation.