Active shooter drills brings comfort to students, staff in Saranac

SARANAC, Mich. (WOOD) — There was a time when fire and tornado drills were the scariest things students had to practice.

But times have changed.

“I mean, I've been worried about school shootings,” said Saranac High School School senior Katelynn Haskins. “But I didn't think my school would really have that happen. But it's always possible.”

Active shooter drills held this week at Saranac High are designed to bring that reality home.

“What if you hear this?” Ionia County Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Bucholtz asked students as the sound of gunfire came from a hallway outside the classroom. “Let's go, let's go!”

The gunfire was actually created by a blank, shot off by a state trooper taking part in the drill.

The program is called ALICE, short for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Encounter and Evacuate. 

“Get out! Absolutely. If you're not here, can he shoot you? Absolutely not. Get out. Evade, evacuate,” Bucholtz told students.

ALICE is an update to drills of the past that recognize simply locking a classroom door and shutting off the lights doesn't work in all active shooter situations.

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