“I think this is as realistic as we can make it without it being the actual incident,” said Jim Kubinski, bureau chief of EMS for the Naperville Fire Department.
The fire department trained both civilian paramedics and firefighter/paramedics for how to react when entering an active shooter situation.
“Primarily, the goal of these exercises is for us to be able to respond more effectively to a mass shooting type situation or any type of a mass casualty situation so that we can get in, we can triage our victims in order of importance, and then get them to the proper care that they need as quickly and as efficiently as possible,” said Naperville Fire Department Firefighter/Paramedic Alex Boomgarden.
The simulation tested the participants on their ability to act under pressure using fake blood, fake victims, and other stressful elements.
“They do an excellent job. Any time you can increase the stressers with the loud music, lack of lighting, things like that,” said Boomgarden. “The more stressful you can make it in training, the better you’re going to react in real life.”
In these exercises, police officers provide protection to the unarmed paramedics in case a shooter is still active.
Kubinski cited reports of mass shootings where paramedics waited over an hour to enter a “warm zone” – an area where a potential threat exists, but there is no immediate threat.
“So now we’re training our firefighters to be able to go into a warm zone area and quickly render that care that’s going to get those patients to the hospital and save lives ultimately,” said Kubinski.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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