When it comes to a mass shooting, seconds can make a big difference in how many people die. In an exclusive report, our Malique Rankin learned how our first responders are training to cut response time down.
This is an entirely new approach to what first responders do once they arrive on an active shooter scene. Firefighters and EMT’s regularly risk their lives to save yours, and say when it comes to responding to an active shooter they don’t want to sit on the sidelines.
Shane Weltikol; Firefighter Paramedic Mandan Fire Department: “We don’t want to take the traditional approach, where we stay outside and wait for the police department to check every nook and cranny and closet is clear for a possible shooter..”
Police classify scenes in three different zones: hot, warm, and cold.
Typically firefighters and EMT’s stay in the cold, or safest zone.
Sgt. Jason Neuberger; Mandan PD: “There would be no firefighters or medics that would go in without an armed law enforcement officer.”
Shane Weltikol: “There’s an inherent risk to anything we do in this job. We don’t see this as any more or less hazardous as going into a structure fire where someone may be trapped.”
With this new approach, fire and medics would now be able to enter the warm zone..
Shane Weltikol says training a Rescue Task Force puts their resources to far better use.
Shane Weltikol: “The purpose of a rescue task force is to get in to those patients in a way more timely manner to provide life-saving treatment, then to extricate them from that situation to more definitive care.”
Police say active shooters are only a threat for a matter of minutes. Having a Rescue Task Force in place allows firefighters and EMT’s to get to victims much quicker.
Both Mandan Fire and Police say the more they work together, the greater potential for saving lives.
Shane Weltikol: “Its seconds or minutes that can make the difference between life and death.”
Mandan Fire, Mandan PD, and Metro Area Ambulance participated in today’s drill. Aside from learning this life-saving approach, the first responders said it was a great opportunity to see the separate entities working together.