“We hope that we never have to deal with this.”

The Mankato Department of Public Safety and other emergency services crews will be training this afternoon and evening at Washington Elementary School, and Sergeant Justin Neumann said it’s a critical exercise they hope to never need.

“Really, it’s an opportunity for police, fire, and EMS to come together on what is a very important topic for us and something we work on a lot – and work very closely with the school district on – and that’s an active shooter response,” he explained.

Neumann said police, fire, and emergency medical services crews from across Blue Earth, Nicollet, and Le Sueur will participate in the training, as will volunteers that include, “Victim role-players. We’ll have officers respond to the threat and then involve medical and other components to be able to get victims and others affected by this out of the area.”

Large-scale active shooter events are increasing.

Statistics show that in the early 2000s there were about six per year, and Neumann said by 2006 there were about 16 each year on average and, “Now we’re up in the 30 or so active shooter events per year. But, again, that’s still really rare. There are some studies out there that suggest that you are more likely to be struck by lightning than you are to be involved in an active shooter incident. There’s one study out of Rutgers that shows you are more likely to be struck by lightning twice in your lifetime than you are to be involved in a single active shooter event.”

The block on Anderson Drive in front of the school will be closed during the training.