Superior Emergency Departments Practice Response to Mass Casualty Incident
Fire and Police Department, and Paramedics evaluated response to active shooter situation.
SUPERIOR, Wis.- The Superior Fire Department and Police Department joined together for their third mass casualty training.
Rather than practicing their response to an active shooter directly, firefighters, police officers, and paramedics worked on getting quick and precise care to those wounded after the shooter had been neutralized.
With makeup and uniforms scattered across the Wessman Arena Gym, it may look like a theater activity.
“Actually getting hands–on practice doing what we’re expected to do is the most valuable thing about it,” said Sergeant Paul Winterscheidt.
But these actors are working with law enforcement and emergency responders to portray an active shooter scenario.
“The Fire Department has to go into that incident while it’s still considered a warm zone, where there’s still a possible threat there,” Battalion Chief Howard Huber said.
Individuals covered in fake blood and wounds acted as injured patients.
After officers act like they secured the shooter, the officials must move through different locations, vigilant for any additional threats.
“They’re going into a scene and experience all the minute details they wouldn’t in real life,” said Sgt. Winterschedt.
For most police and fire officials, this is the closest they’ve been to the real thing.
“We try to simulate it as accurately as possible so that if they face a real situation, mentally they have already been there.”
They must navigate the new experience together, to get everyone out and cared for safely.
“We speak different languages in the Police and Fire Departments,” Huber said. “And so learning how to work together closely under a high pressure environment requires practice.”
Both the Battalion Chief and the Sergeant said if this were a real active shooter situation, both their teams would be prepared to handle it, thanks to this type of training.