IT’S ONLY A DRILL: ‘Operation Hilltopper’ Underway at Los Alamos High School


“Operation Hilltopper” is underway this morning at Los Alamos High School. Emergency first response organizations in Los Alamos County have, for the past year, been training their personnel, polishing their plans and tweaking their equipment in a comprehensive effort aimed at preparing to deal with a scenario that nobody hopes will ever arise – an active shooter loose at a school.   

“Operation Hilltopper” is a full-scale exercise designed to test police, fire, emergency medical support, Los Alamos Medical Center and Los Alamos High School personnel and their abilities to adequately respond to just such an event. 

Toward that end, the Los Alamos County Office of Emergency Management has let residents living in the vicinity of Los Alamos High School know that during today’s exercise from 8 a.m. to noon, they will see a significant number of emergency vehicles around the high school and the hospital. 

In addition, observers are likely to hear gunshots (only blanks, no live ammunition will be used) and even the screams of actors portraying victims. 

The County also gave residents an advanced heads-up regarding possible traffic delays, especially at the Canyon Road / Diamond Drive intersection while the exercise is taking place. 

Planning and preparation for disasters has paid big dividends for the community and events such as Operation Hilltopper feature prominently in the County’s ability to respond to an emergency. 

Los Alamos County government thanks the citizens of this County for their support and patience. 

The public is welcome to observe this event; however they must remain behind the yellow caution tape.

Questions? Call the County’s Emergency Management Office at 663-3511.

LOS ALAMOS website support locally by OviNuppi Systems