Most – On Wednesday morning, the phone of the operations officer on emergency line 158 rang. A frightened voice on the other end announced that there was a shooting in one of the buildings of the Technical Secondary School in Most, the students were in danger and some of them were dead.
Fully armed police patrols immediately began to descend on the site. Fortunately, this was a planned exercise of the components of the integrated rescue system, which the operations officer knew.
The task of the intervening police officers is clear. Locate one or more perpetrators who threaten everyone present with their shooting, limit their active resistance and, above all, detain them. One of the priorities for the armed boys is also to save the students and staff of the school. All must be evacuated from the building in a controlled manner and handed over to the care of rescuers.
“Practice needs to be as close as possible to the reality that could occur, which I hope never happens. But we must be ready. There will be police officers from the so-called intervention team, called the Attack team for today’s exercise. This is a team specially trained for interventions of this type. It is they who arrive to support the police officers who are already intervening on the spot,” explained Stanislav Krajčovič, commander of the Ústí nad Labem regional special order unit, before the start of the exercise. Logically, local police officers are the first to arrive at the scene of an intervention, which is why it must be the same during the exercise.
Unlike regular police patrols, this special unit has long guns. “The special unit undergoes significantly more demanding training. Soon after arrival, they must support colleagues who are already intervening, if necessary take a leading role in the intervention, or cooperate with other special units such as URNA, etc.,” explained Commander Krajčovič.
The exercise took place while the school was in full operation, while the students, their parents and the teaching staff knew about the event in advance. “No one wants to risk panic, injury or damage to property. Therefore, all parties were briefed in advance. There will be a shooting simulation on the spot, including a large number of moving people,” the regional commander noted.
For reasons of authenticity, the attacker had a relatively “free hand” when simulating the attack. “The scenario is given 50 to 50%, the basic framework is determined. The officers have to inspect a substantial part of the building, they have to respond to the distant noise of gunfire, so we can test how quickly they can respond. They are guided to follow the sound of gunfire and not be distracted by, for example, the presence of injured persons. Their task is to define a safe area where other rescue services are allowed. And they are the ones who will take care of the wounded,” the commander described how the intervention must work. The specialists have to secure the attacker in the shortest possible time, so that he can no longer harm anyone.
The exercise was attended by 35 police officers from the Most Regional Department and a six-member team from the regional special order unit.