GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Active shooters are a real world threat that have been seen often in recent years.
First responders at the Seabee base in Gulfport may feel a little more prepared in the event of an active shooter scenario after Friday's training.
The scene was set as a quiet day in traffic court at the Fleet and Family Support Center on base. At the sound of gunfire, a mock shooter opened fake gunfire on the room full of Seabees, and then made his way throughout the building.
"I kept thinking what's going to happen next," said employee Sheryl Hall.
The building and base were suddenly on lockdown. Everyone was told to shelter in place, including Hall and fellow employee Jamie Williams.
"I think the thing that surprised me was the shaking of the door and it sounded like he shot at my door and I was thinking wow, if he had shot it open, you know," said Williams.
Prior training had those in the building hiding in their offices with the lights off.
"Yet, knowing it was an exercise, I kept thinking, oh my gosh, what if it wasn't,' said Hall.
If it was real, first responders rely on this kind of training to make sure practiced procedures would flow in a real world scenario.
"So, every reaction they had was either a trained response or a natural reaction," said Chief Petty Officer Kiel Dahlke.
Dahlke helped construct the scenario but no matter how much he prepared, there's nothing like putting the exercise in motion.
"You just never can tell. There's a lot of what-if's. A lot of things that could change the whole situation," Dahlke said.
For many of the pretend victims, the training was a first. However, they were able to see the importance of the practice.
"I definitely feel like this is going to prepare the majority of us if something did actually happen," said Joseph Stuhr.
Putting the pieces together was no easy task. Installation Mission Readiness Officer Roger Hudson says it was imperative that everything run as smoothly as possible to make sure that the practice could be as real as possible.
"The more we do this, the more they'll see it, the more they'll learn to react on what they're supposed to do," said Hudson.
Officials say though the agencies taking part in the training are all stationed at the base, the Seabees have agreements with surrounding emergency responders if needed.