Emergency first response organizations in Los Alamos County have, for the past year, been training their personnel, polishing their plans and tweaking their equipment in a comprehensive effort aimed at preparing to deal with a scenario that nobody hopes will ever arise — an active shooter loose at a school.
Operation Hilltopper, scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Monday, is a full-scale exercise designed to test police, fire, emergency medical support, Los Alamos Medical Center and Los Alamos High School personnel and their abilities to adequately respond to just such an event.
Toward that end, the Los Alamos County Office of Emergency Management is letting residents living in the vicinity of Los Alamos High School know that on the day of the exercise, from 8 a.m. to noon Monday they will see a significant number of emergency vehicles around the high school and the hospital.
In addition, observers are likely to hear gunshots (only blanks, no live ammunition will be used) and even the screams of actors portraying victims.
“We would also like to give residents an advanced heads-up regarding possible traffic delays, especially at the Canyon/Diamond intersection while this exercise is taking place,” the county said in its press release.