Working together saves lives.

Redstone Arsenal’s Directorate of Operations Fire Department and Police Department spent part of the month of May training for one of the worst case scenarios on the installation – an active shooter or violent incident. The consolidated Rescue Task Force and Active Shooter Live-Fire Training gave first responders the opportunity to satisfy annual training requirements, while learning how to best work together.

“One of the lessons learned from previous active shooter or violent incidents is historically law enforcement and the fire department responded differently,” said Deputy Fire Chief Robert Simmons, who pointed to the recent 20th anniversary of the shooting in Columbine. “The law enforcement officers would respond and attempt to secure the whole area before the fire department could go in and begin treating any victims that may be there.

“We’ve learned that we’ve got to be a team in our response. It’s not an individual law enforcement problem or a fire department problem, it is a team effort, and it is a problem that every emergency responder has to be prepared to deal with. It’s of critical importance that we have this team environment and we are able to respond together as a cohesive unit.”

While the first responders train their skills year-round, it all builds up to the joint training. The joint training allowed law enforcement officers to demonstrate how they would respond to a threat and eliminate or secure the threat, while the firefighters went in to the “warm zone” – an area where that has been cleared

or isolated – to immediately treat

victims.

“We’ll be able to go in and do our piece of the puzzle and protect our firefighters who are coming in to rescue anyone who has been injured,” said Capt. Sean Lulofs with Redstone Police. “It’s vital that we work together. If we don’t work together then we’re not going to be able to do what we’re supposed to do, and that’s save lives and prevent further injuries. We absolutely must train together every year.”

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