Kern County emergency agencies participate in drill

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -- Eleven local law enforcement agencies teamed up Thursday for a crisis training session at Bakersfield College to ensure safety of our schools in 2014.

At 9:20 a.m., BC was put on lockdown for a county-wide disaster preparedness drill.

The exercise began with a simulated explosion on a GET bus on the Bakersfield College Red and White Way entrance off of Mt. Vernon Avenue.

After the explosion, armed suspects entered the campus shooting several students and then barricading themselves with hostages in the math science building and later in the language arts building.

Suspects also set several improvised explosive devices in various locations around both of those buildings.

BC student Ricky Flores was asked to act as a victim. As the scenario unfolded, a large explosion was heard coming from the college campus.

"We were the victims. We were waiting for the people to come in and bust in with a bomb, it's crazy, they come in guns-a-blazing," Flores said.

With their guns drawn, members of the Bakersfield Police and Kern County Sheriff's Department pursued active shooters following the explosion. Multiple shots, including an officer involved shooting, played out as Kern County's first responders acted in real-time.

"The way this scenario was designed it really was designed to give personnel involved as much real-life experience as possible," said Ray Pruitt, KCSO spokesman.

The drill not only brought together BPD and Sherriff's deputies.

Over 300 personnel from eleven public and private service agencies participated.

In addition, numerous explorers from BPD, KCSO, Hall Ambulance and Bakersfield City and Kern County fire departments participated.

The explorers worked as actors to bring much needed realism to this active shooter scenario, which our first responders called invaluable.

"If there was an incident such as this on a campus: an elementary school, junior high, high school -- it doesn't matter. We would be able to respond," said Anthony Galagaza, spokesman for the Bakersfield Fire Department.

"Kern medical center is also involved in this exercise so they're getting bombarded with additional injured people from the scenario, so they're testing their capabilities as well," said BPD Sgt. Joe Grubbs.

In the end, our county's agencies came together and all armed suspects were contained, and all victims were treated on scene. It was meant to reassure to not only to the law enforcement agencies involved, but the general public.

"It makes me feel safe knowing that our local heroes are helping out trying to get better at what they do," Flores said.