Emergency drill at Hoboken High School

Hoboken hostage drill at HHS angers kids & parents

This morning, the Hoboken Police and Fire Departments staged an emergency drill at the Hoboken High School. This staged event was meant to test the emergency preparedness of our first responders.

In this situation, the fake drill involved an armed gunman holding hostages in the library, all while a fire in a stairwell was happening at the same time.

Overheard on the Hoboken411 Live Police and Fire Action Channel – it was clear that this event was not real, as everyone involved repeated “this is just a drill” dozens of times throughout the exercise.

This was essentially a non-event for us over here (they do similar drills throughout the year). But this just got a little interesting, because apparently no one at the school was informed (kids, teachers, parents) that this drill was going to take place. We suspect the more real-life the drill is – the more realistic the crowd control situation would be to test how emergency responders would handle the situation.

Hoboken411 received quite a few messages from residents (even some who thought the situation was really happening). Like one Hoboken parent who wrote:

“The Hoboken High School thought it would be a great a to stage a fake attack, having cops in full uniform and students acting out scenes being held hostage. The teachers were informed over the loudspeaker to lead the kids out of the building with hands behind the head like the were prisoners or hostages. The teachers, students and parents were not informed about this drill. My son texted me scared to “please come get him he’s scared to death and that he doesn’t know whats going on but there are people with guns and cops everywhere.” When he found out it was a drill he freaked out students were crying! and teachers were outraged! When I got to the school myself freaking out as well, I was told it was a private drill and no one was made aware of it but those involved, I had words with the Principal. This is an outrage students were traumatized and I know I am as well!”

Do you think it was appropriate to stage a drill without informing anyone? Maybe the next time it will be real and no one will take it seriously?

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7 Comments on "Emergency drill at Hoboken High School"

beerzgood
Member
beerzgood

We should ban all drills. Rather than unnecessarily scaring people it’s better to be unprepared.

jerseychris
Member
jerseychris

When there was the Cuban Missle Crisis did they warn the kids that the duck and cover was a drill?

Mavrande
Member
Mavrande

The hostage drill involved the hoboken police department and the hoboken volunteer ambulance corps, as well as the hoboken high school ambulance. Unlike drills focused on the PATH station or such, other nearby departments (NJ Transit, PAPD, AmCare, McCabe, JCMC EMS) were not involved. The drill focused on how the police would initially assess the threat, secure the school, evacuate students, especially injured ones, search the building, and to give the ambulance corps an opportunity to test their incident response, command, triage, and communication plans. The fire department did something as well but I don’t know all the details.

Drills of this nature are incredibly helpful and this experience will allow the emergency services to better respond to any major emergency. Opting to only advise school officials allows responders to learn how students and teachers will react when armed officers show up, or in a serious fire situation, or in a serious medical emergency, and this allows them to be prepared for that behavior, and alter their own to avoid making the situation more dangerous.

Soniaa
Member
Soniaa

That’s messed up! Now I’m sure the faculty will need to bring in grief counselors and kids will take sick days next. But why are students bringing cell phones to school and texting? We’re raising a bunch of idiots it seems.

justaconcernedparent
Member
justaconcernedparent

i dont think it will go that far sonia….but..if a drill like that is being performed parents should be aware…as should teachers so we can talk to our children and make then aware of the authorities doing there jobs……this is a safety issue and some people may not do well under pressure…and i think every kid should have a cell phone with them at school after the attacks we have had on our counrty and schools as well……and that is just my opinion….[quote comment=”214799″]That’s messed up! Now I’m sure the faculty will need to bring in grief counselors and kids will take sick days next. But why are students bringing cell phones to school and texting? We’re raising a bunch of idiots it seems.[/quote]

whineanddineinhob
Member
whineanddineinhob

A lot has changed since I was in high school and preparedness has taken on a totally differnt meaning in todays world. I think a notification to anyone, including parents, would have defeated the purpose. On the contrary, elementary grades having fire or lock down drills should be treated differently for the obvious reasons.[quote comment=”214800″]i dont think it will go that far sonia….but..if a drill like that is being performed parents should be aware…as should teachers so we can talk to our children and make then aware of the authorities doing there jobs……this is a safety issue and some people may not do well under pressure…and i think every kid should have a cell phone with them at school after the attacks we have had on our counrty and schools as well……and that is just my opinion….[/quote]

Curtishly
Member
Curtishly

I drove past it and thought it was just another false fire alarm.

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