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Police and medics train for active shooter

(Photo: UHP)

SALT LAKE CITY – Gunshots ring out a Salt Lake Community College, but, luckily, this time, it was just for training.  Over 20 different organizations teamed up for a massive active shooter drill.

When the shots rang out, volunteer Sebastien Haertel was given one instruction… run and hide.

“They said, ‘Find a safe place to go hide, even if you have to barricade yourself,’” he says.

He locked himself in the bathroom, but other volunteers were not as lucky.  They had simulated gunshot wounds and head injuries.

(Photo: UHP)

The training that happens during these exercises has evolved over the years.  A few years ago, officers were trained to take out the shooter first, so medics could safely treat the injured.

However, Utah Highway Patrol Sergeant Nick Street says now, “[Medics] put on their Kevlar vest and Kevlar helmets and they’re working right along officers to go in and triage victims as quickly as possible in these mass casualty events.  It can mitigate the loss of life.”

Even though mock shootings like this are common, Street says they never get old.  He believes officers always learns new tactics, even if they’ve been on the force for a long time.

“The frontline officers, newer officers and even officers who have been on for two or three years, you can’t do this enough to where it’s not going to benefit you,” Street says.