Today, BMW Manufacturing, along with Spartanburg County law enforcement agencies and first responders, held a full-scale active shooter training exercise on the BMW campus. The training took place inside and around BMW’s 70,000 square-foot battery assembly building off Brockman-McClimon Road. The exercise simulated an active shooter inside the building and was designed to appear as realistic as possible in order to test the abilities of first responders.
“While we never want a tragic situation like this to occur, we realize that BMW must partner with local law enforcement to have a quick and effective response in case of an emergency such as this,” said Knudt Flor, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. “We provided a realistic place for law enforcement and first responders to train without disrupting our daily production. The exercise also allowed our BMW Corporate Security team and senior management to review our emergency response plans and collaborate with law enforcement on handling these dangerous situations.”
“We appreciate BMW allowing the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office this unique opportunity to participate in this active shooter training,” said Sheriff Chuck Wright of Spartanburg County. “This event is the largest exercise this agency has ever participated in, and because of its scale, it will only enhance our tactics and response if such an unfortunate event were to ever occur. This agency has been involved from the onset with the planning of this event since it began several months ago, and we remain impressed with the professionalism and dedication of all involved. While such training is necessary in these current times, the sincerest hope of everyone at the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office is that the education received will never have to be applied.”
An estimated 120 people took part in the training exercise. The scenario was made more realistic by the participation of 38 BMW associates who portrayed “victims” inside the building. Before the exercise began, several associates received makeup to create injuries that appeared as realistic as possible. These associates were then placed in the building and given roles to play when law enforcement arrived.
“This drill gave me a greater appreciation of what law enforcement experiences in an emergency,” said BMW associate Eric Spicer, who played a victim during the training. “Even though this wasn’t real, when I heard the gunshots inside this building, it sent chills through me. I hope I never have to experience a situation like this. I’m very glad BMW is taking a proactive role in training for an emergency like this.”
Along with BMW Manufacturing’s Fire and Corporate Security Team, agencies participating in this exercise were Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, Greer City Police Department, GSP Airport Police Department, State Law Enforcement Division, Pelham-Batesville Fire Department, Spartanburg County Communications 911, Spartanburg County Emergency Management and Spartanburg County EMS.
Today’s exercise is part of the BMW Group’s standard emergency preparedness training with the ultimate goal of safeguarding BMW associates, interests, information and property. During these training exercises, stakeholders within BMW and at local emergency services partner to strategize, plan, and learn swift decision-making and communication across departments and internationally in the event of a real-life crisis. Over the past five years, training exercises within the BMW Group have included simulated systems failures and cyber-attacks.