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Sacramento Emergency Responders Train For Active Shooter Scenarios

Sally Schilling/Capital Public Radio

Members of Sacramento Sheriff's Department practice escorting Sacramento Metro firefighters onto an active shooter scene to rescue victims.

Sally Schilling/Capital Public Radio

Sacramento county emergency responders trained Monday on active shooter scenarios — now a regular part of their training process.

Sacramento's Sheriff and Sacramento Metro Fire departments regularly drill together. Fire Captain Shawn Daly said the group practices working under what's called a "unified command."

"Both police and fire have different missions, different training, but we're put together as a task force to complete the same mission, which is to save lives," Daly said.

When they started doing the joint training a few years ago, most firefighters were uncomfortable with the idea of going into a scene where a shooter still posed a threat, he said. But incidents across the country have shown them they need to be prepared for these scenarios.

"I think the idea has set in, and that is: public expectation for us to take part in it," Daly said. "And I think our men and women are well-prepared to handle that situation if it comes upon them."

Members of the Sacramento Sheriff's Department practiced coordinating with firefighters to rescue injured victims from an active shooter scene.

"If we can get a person evacuated into an area where they can receive care and better care, than just staying put inside an active scene, that's kind of what our goal is," Sheriff's Sergeant Shaun Hampton said.

Group leaders said the trainings continue to evolve as they learn from mass shooting events.

Captain Chris Vestal with Metro Fire said the response to the mass shooting in Las Vegas is still being evaluated.

"But what we do know right now is many of the patients who were transported, whether they were professionally extricated from the scene, or by bystanders, a lot of them had the chance to survive because they were quickly taken out," Vestal said.

California passed a law in 2014 requiring these joint training sessions.

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