In recent years, Americans have become all too accustomed to a very specific type of breaking news: a report of an active shooter situation with multiple victims confirmed. These acts of violence have occurred in large cities and small towns alike, claiming the lives of hundreds of men, women and children. In the past three years alone, more than 800 have been killed or injured in active shooter situations in the United States, including the two deadliest incidents in the nation’s history – Orlando’s Pulse nightclub and the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas.
Throughout the months of May and June, paramedics, firefighters and law enforcement officers in St. Charles County will come together at St. Charles Community College’s Allied Health campus to train collaboratively on these high-acuity incidents. The large footprint of the facility and grounds will enable evaluators to vary the scenarios and inject variables into the exercises in real time. The training scenarios will make use of classrooms, corridors, ancillary buildings and other areas of the multi-acre campus. To enhance the sense of realism, light, smoke and simulated gunfire will be utilized, and the scenarios will make use of numerous live volunteers, some displaying varying degrees of simulated injury.
“The active shooter scenario is one we’ve utilized for MCI training before, most recently in 2016. Unfortunately, the frequency and scope of these incidents necessitate regular, dynamic training” said SCCAD Training Officer Rick Lane, who heads the District’s MCI exercises each year. “Thanks to close collaboration between participating agencies, this year’s series of training evolutions promises to be a fully immersive experience designed to test the critical thinking abilities of all who participate.”
A total of 18 trainings will be held over nine days at the Community College’s Allied Health Facility in O’Fallon, MO. In total, more than 500 first responders will take part in the training. Residents in the neighboring Barathaven neighborhood received advance notification to ensure they are aware the scenarios are simulated for training purposes.