Kings Dominion drill helps first responders prepare for the worst

DOSWELL, Va. -- The sound of children's laughter and thrilling screams at Kings Dominion was replaced by law enforcement yelling orders. An active shooter drill, planned before this week's terror attack in Manchester, England, took over the Doswell theme park on Wednesday.

"The goal of this exercise is to enhance interagency response and communication during an incident that involves an active threat to the public while engaging and educating our community,” Hanover Sheriff Col. David Hines said.

The Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Hanover Fire-EMS, Hanover County Emergency Communications, and Kings Dominion, all participated in the exercise.

"We owe it to our community to test our resources, to test our capabilities, and again to test the existing plans that are in place between us and other agencies in the area,"
Hanover Sheriff's spokesman James Cooper said.

The park was closed to the public while first responders conducted the drill.

"Hosting drills like this builds upon our strong partnership with local law enforcement," Gary Chadwick, Kings Dominion General Manager and Vice President, said. "It gives us an opportunity to provide a dynamic, unique environment that allows first responders to train for real-life circumstances."