Rapid City Fire Department conducts Active Shooter and Hostile Event Response training

RAPID CITY, S.D. — An Active Shooter and Hostile Event Response training, completed by the Rapid City Fire Department, prepared first responders for an infrequent but crucial response.

In many situations, police are able to clear a scene and provide safety for EMS, but sometimes, “We have to have our EMS units come in and extract a victim while there is still action going on inside the building,” explains Nick Carlson, Training Section Chief with RCFD.

The response starts by placing the ambulance wisely, where the medics are able to safely enter the scene and work on their patient, out of range of possible fire.

Rcfd Active Shooter TrainingThen, responders must constantly assess both the patient, in this case, an officer, and the surroundings.

“Basically I just didn’t know what was going on back there and I wanted to get him out,” says a training participant.

Once in the ambulance, life-saving efforts continue. In these situations communication and awareness are key.

“If the responder get hurt, that’s another person that’s down, that’s one less person that can respond,” Carlson adds. “So being able to work in sync with law enforcement, they keep us protected, you know we’re going in together, they keep us protected while we grab the victim, get them loaded, and get them out.”

Simulating active shooter scenarios also helps familiarize EMS responders with specialized equipment and skills.

“We’re trying to add that little bit of level of anxiety really helps so they appreciate it a lot and they seem to be extremely receptive towards it,” Carlson says.

Different trainings are held frequently to keep everyone prepared.

“Our stance is always think of the worst case scenario, make sure you’re prepared for it, and that way, when it does happen, we actually perform the best that we can,” Carlson explains. “So you have to trial it and trial it and get that muscle memory so when it’s exciting, you’re acting off of instinct, not trying to think about what you’re doing.”

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