Local police, firefighters, and EMS receive advanced active shooter training

Local police, firefighters, and EMS receive advanced active shooter training
December 17
00:00 2015
Photo by Tevin Stinson
Above: (L to R) Deputy Chief of the EMS Tim Black, Third Battalion Fire Chief Jay Walsh, and Lieutenant Bart Stone show a clip of a training video designed to show how first responders handle an active assailant situation.

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

Following mass shooting attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, CA preparing for an active shooter attack is on the minds of people across the globe. During the monthly public safety news conference Wednesday, Dec. 8 officials assured citizens they have the training to handle any active shooter situation that may arise.

Since 2014 the Forsyth County Emergency Management Agency has coordinated active assailant training for an number of city officials including first responders, elected officials, city officials, emergency management, and many others.

“We all went through a week long training to prepare ourselves for the challenges that would occur in an active assailant event,” WSPD Lieutenant Bart Stone said.

As the methods of active shooters continue to evolve, the training has evolved as well.

According to Stone and others, this year’s training has been more comprehensive than ever.

In the past, firefighters and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel had to wait until the shooter and scene were secured before entering to help victims. Now, paramedics and firefighters will be able to enter certain areas with armed members of the WSPD.

Stone said, “The new training tactics will allow those who may be injured to receive medical attention much faster, and save more lives in the process.

“We are all about saving lives and keeping the citizens safe, He continued. ”This training will increase the survivability rate of a citizen injured in a mass shooting attack.”

Nearly 300 firefighters and 150 EMS workers have already taken part in the training this year. In January every officer with the WSPD will go through a coordinated response to a active assailant attack.

Deputy Chief of the EMS Tim Black said, while the training is unique, EMS workers, firefighters, and the police department work together everyday to make sure citizens are safe from any, and all threats.

“This event is unique because we have a fourth party there creating harm, but on a daily basis we work together.” he said. “We come together every year to train but this event is really special for us and we work really well together.”

Aside from learning how to handle catastrophic events, interdepartmental training also allows the departments to create bonds that can improve working relationships. Third Battalion Fire Chief Jay Walsh said the large amount of time the departments spend together training allows them to get to know each other better.

“We are getting a level of training that we have never been able to get before,” said Walsh. “Not only that but we are creating relationships that will make us more of a unit.”

Recently, a training video was created to show the cooperation between the three departments. According to Walsh, as the tactics and actions of active shooters become more advanced, it is important that the city’s first line of defense is prepared to handle any situation.

“As things change and some of the type of events change, our training needs to change too,” he continued. “And we are on top of those changes all the time.”

The training video can be viewed on the city’s official website,


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