An exercise to test the effectiveness of first responders during a mass casualty event will be held at Murrieta Mesa High School on Tuesday.

Organizers are working to get out the word in advance so the public will not be alarmed by the sight of fire engines and police cars swarming the campus during the simulation.

The Riverside County Emergency Management Department will be supervising the four-hour drill, which will get underway about 3 p.m.

According to an EMD statement, the goal of the exercise “is to test critical communication capabilities, resource coordination, expedited triage, treatment and transport during a mass casualty incident. Exercise components will provide a platform for participants to work together and implement measures that could save lives in the event of an actual incident. The expected outcome is to refine policies and procedures while addressing immediate concerns during a mass casualty incident.”

The simulation will focus on the dangers and consequences of an “active shooter” in a densely populated area.

Murrieta Mesa High staff and students will be taking part, playing the roles of victims and witnesses. Mannequins will also be used to create patients with life-like injuries that medics have to address.

Some of the “patients” will be airlifted to Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley.

Murrieta Fire & Rescue personnel, Murrieta police officers and county public health officials will also be involved in the exercise, which will require temporary street closures in the immediate vicinity of the campus.

Commuters should be prepared for brief delays or seek out alternate routes, according to county officials.

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