Realistic exercise trains crews to handle school shootings - WSMV News 4

Realistic exercise trains crews to handle school shootings

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Officers and first responders headed to Cadiz, Kentucky Friday for a very realistic training session on how to save lives in a school shooting. With adrenaline running high, the officers learned how to overcome distractions and solve problems as quickly and safely as possible.

"There is nothing like going into a smoke filled room with the alarms going off," said Major Duncan Wiggins of the Cadiz Police Department. "There's someone in there, and you've got no idea what he's getting ready to do. Only he knows and all you can do is react to what he does."

The Cadiz Police Department conducted a large scale active shooter training exercise at the Trigg County Intermediate Primary School with other departments, and first responders taking part.

The school was filled with smoke, making it hard to see the person acting as a victim in the hall. A team of police and paramedics went in to pick up the victim.

"A person doesn't have time to wait," said Wiggins. "A person can bleed to death in just a couple of minutes. We don't have a couple minutes."

On the way out, shots were fired as part of the exercise. Firing blanks, the officers returned that fire, taking in a person playing the shooter.

The exercise was a partnership with Down Range Consulting, which works in active shooter training that's evolved since the 1999 Columbine school shootings.

"We've learned a lot about entering doorways, and how to move down hallways," said Chuck Hedinger of Down Range Consulting. "We've learned a lot of it from our military. They've brought those lessons back to us from Afghanistan and Iraq."

Following recent school violence, including the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, the crews said there's an urgency to knowing how to end violence the best they can in their own community.

"We all have a stake in this community," said Wiggins. "I have a child that goes here. We all have children that go here. This is part of our community. This is part of our family. If it means risking our lives, that's exactly what we're going to do to stop it."

Officials with Down Range Consulting tell Channel 4 each shooting in America is carefully studied. The final report helps shape the training to get crews prepared for anything.

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