Law enforcement officials train to handle mass casualty situation
WAUKESHA — While the violent chaotic shooting played out in Colorado, a number of officers trained locally to handle a similar situation at the Waukesha County Technical College, for the tactical emergency medical support course. Over the years, the center has gotten hundreds of officers and emergency staff from all over Wisconsin ready for dangerous high threat situations, and it couldn`t have come at a better time.
Authorities say 24-year-old James Holmes opened fire during a midnight showing of the Dark Knight Rises early Friday, July 20th, killing 12 and injuring over 50.
Whether it’s a dark building or an open field, 20 participants at Waukesha County Technical College prepared for the unknown.
“They’re doing a high-angle rescue and causality movement training scenarios. We`re doing bounding over watch and open field rescue, should we have a downed officer or civilian in open field area to expeditiously and safely try to receive care for them,” adjunct TEMS instructor Chris Cook said.
The training incorporated military techniques, and prepared participants to handle a mass casualty situation.
After Colorado’s mass shooting, some participants said they had even more perspective.
“Law enforcement is essentially responding to a homicide in progress in that there were people actively being killed or potentially killed in a theater. In order to mitigate that threat, that may potentially mean killing the shooter,” Cook said.
During the training, participants focused on saving lives. During these scenarios, law enforcement works hand in hand with EMS to aid the victims as quickly as possible.
“The greatest impact could be right on scene. Recognizing they are doing tactics and skills that would enhance the capability or ability of the casualty to make it alive to the hospital and increase survivability,” Cook said.
“We want to have more officers trained in this type of training to have the essential knowledge and skill to deal with that on a better level,” Waukesha Police Officer Steven Guth said.
Guth told FOX6 News the added diversion tactics such as light and sound help give them the edge they need.
“We try to prepare ourselves to be one step ahead. It can happen anywhere,” Guth said.
The tactical training, and the drills will get more intense. Sunday, they’ll go live with real victims, nurses and fire departments, so all entities are prepared to combat any situation.
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