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City of Battle Creek holds school-wide safety drill at Lakeview Friday

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The City of Battle Creek gave Newschannel 3 unprecedented access to a school-wide safety drill on Friday morning.

SWAT, military, air care, and even the FBI descended upon Lakeview Middle School Friday morning.

The simulations of an active shooter were so real that staff stood outside with signs notifying passers-by that this was a drill.

Newschannel 3 looked through the reenactments with students and staff still inside.

Emergency responders say Friday's drill brought in something that's never been done at Lakeview before: the involvement of parents.

"It's very important for them to feel that anxiety or tenseness a little bit," said Marty Pessetti, Lakeview High School Assistant Principal.

It's the most comprehensive emergency school simulation ever done in Calhoun County.

Friday took first responders through several drills, including an active shooter simulation.

Rubber bullets are used, after teachers took their students into a full lockdown.

Learning from school shootings in the past, police now go straight to the threat before helping the injured.

"And that's how we train, we go to the sound, we do not wait anymore; we go and actually take down the threat immediately," explained Battle Creek Emergency Manager Mike McKenzie.

For the first time, a SWAT team also gears up for a potential chemical threat, all while the potential injured are being flown out, and students are taken to a safe location a few miles away once the threat is taken out.

Volunteers outside simulate what it would be like for anxious parents to arrive.

"The national average for total reunification after a horrific event is around 12 hours, so it is a long process," McKenzie said.

The national average response time to an active shooter event is 10 minutes.

Battle Creek Police say they are beating that number, and it should only get better.