First responders in Columbus start training for new rescue task force

First responders in Columbus start training for new rescue task force

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - First responders in Columbus are coming together for extensive training in light of recent mass shootings.

They are now coming up with their own rescue task force and working on a quicker response time.

There were about 40 first responders from multiple agencies ready to train on Wednesday. Their goal is to find ways to get to emergencies faster and save more lives.

From Columbus State police officers, CPD Special Operations Unit to firefighters out of Fort Benning, they all came out to train at the old Spencer High School.

“If there is an active shooter situation, not only in a school but in any other type of facility where there’s a large group of civilians, these groups of firefighters and police officers will move as an element into that area,”said Columbus Fire Marshal Ricky Shores.

Shores with the Columbus Fire Department said the Parkland, Florida shooting sparked first responders to find better ways to respond faster. He said he thinks if responders were able to get inside and work on doing what’s called “stop the bleed,” more lives could have been saved.

“One of the things they learned when they critiqued the Parkland shooting was that out of the 17 victims, there were 12 of those victims inside the building that had to wait for an extended amount of time before EMTs were allowed to get in and start providing emergency medical care. So, what we wanted to do nationally is find a way that we can employ,” said Shores.

Shores said it took them more than five years to come up with this training. They wanted to make sure they got it right.

“We were first introduced to the concept five or six years ago. We sent personnel out to get the training to understand how to implement this concept into the way we do business,” said Shores.

This group will be training for the next nine weeks, but Shores said this is something they will be doing year-round so they can be ready to save lives in an event of a mass shooting.

“This is going to go on for the foreseeable future and then it’s just a testament to the way the public safety environment has changed, particularly in the past 20 years," said Shores.

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