EMTs, officers train to respond to active shooter

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by Reed Anfinson, Editor

It’s the worst possible call law enforcement and emergency medical services can get – a shooter has entered a public building.
It immediately brings back images and stories of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the Century 16 multiplex theatre shooting in Aurora, CO, and the Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shooting outside a supermarket in Tucson, AZ.
It’s not something anyone in law enforcement or emergency medical services ever wants to face. But the evening of June 18 officers from the Swift County Sheriff’s Office, the Benson and Appleton Police Departments, and the Swift County-Benson Hospital ambulance service practiced together for the first time on how to react if the unthinkable were to happen.
 “For us, it was our yearly training for an active shooter in schools,” Sheriff John Holtz said. “But we wanted to bring in other agencies that would be affected by a shooting in a school. With the new perspective training that is coming out it was a perfect time to get the ambulance personnel involved.”
It was also a chance to see if they were willing to go along with what the training implied – going into a possibly dangerous situation with law enforcement covering them.


Photo:  Swift County Sheriff’s Deputy, Brandon Grimsley, Sheriff John Holtz, and Deputy Mike Hoffman cover EMTs moving in to help a “shooting” victim.

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