CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Champaign County first responders will be holding a joint training exercise this Friday at Centennial High School.

The exercise will begin at 8 a.m. and will conclude at approximately 2 p.m. People living near the school can expect to see an increased police presence with multiple first responder vehicles. The exercise will include the use of training weapons and non-projectile blank rounds. The blanks will only be used inside the school, but may be heard from the outside.

People are advised to stay away from the area to allow first responders to have the space to properly conduct their exercise. The school and its parking lots will be closed to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic, but Crescent Drive will remain open.

Officials from the Champaign Police Department said Friday’s exercise will be the first of a series that will take place in the coming months. The purpose is to help prepare first responders for rapid response emergency scenarios and mutual aid needs that may occur and to ensure first responders are trained and prepared to work together to address such incidents.

Champaign Police thanked the Champaign School District for its cooperation and for allowing them to use Centennial High School for this exercise.