On Friday I reported on the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training program, which places police officers from different agencies in real-world, active-shooter scenarios.

We reporters donned protective masks and safely followed the police officers through the scenario, observing and filming as we went.

It was more intense and real than I expected. The officers carried and fired nonlethal ammunition and they were tasked with saving screaming victims who used prosthetic blood and limbs to simulate injuries. The scene was chaotic, loud and unpredictable. And though my level of involvement was minuscule compared to that of the police officers, it was hard to keep myself calm and my heart rate controlled.

From my conversation with one participating officer, it seemed he and his colleagues also felt the rush of adrenaline. To be thrown into a still-fluid and hostile situation would put anybody on edge. Still, they managed to complete their tasks and did so with great professionalism.

I am thankful that these officers and police departments took the steps toward improving their skills and knowledge. While I know we all hope a tragedy of this type never happens here or elsewhere, it is reassuring to know that those tasked with keeping our schools safe are prepared.

Happy birthday Sunday to Alfred Niblet of Dallas; Elaine Gaines, Barry Hughley, Detra Holland, Vetra Holland, John Bullard Jr., and Natalie Mask, all of Sherman; Aubryiah Tucker-Cox and Bob Cooper, both of Denison; and Andel Brown of McKinney.

Happy anniversary Sunday to Jerry and Andrea Shannon of Sherman.

Happy birthday Monday to David Strasner, Elizabeth Wilson, and William Lee Hughley, all of Sherman; Larry M.T. Ertel of Bonham; Dhana Johnson of Louisiana; Derrick Dunlap of Dallas; and Melody Walters of Allen.