Firefighters, police team up as task forces to train for an active-shooter

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Firefighters and police officers work together to keep our streets and homes safe. Now, the two groups in Kansas City are pairing up to create a new type of rescue task group. Firefighters are no strangers to rushing into buildings to fight flames and smoke, but the focus of Wednesday’s training at Lincoln Middle School was more about rescue; rushing into buildings to pull out victims when someone with a gun starts shooting, or what’s known as an active-shooter situation.

Wednesday’s training was not a real active-shooter scenario, but first responders have to be ready in case someone with a gun does open fire.

“There was a gentleman who was a teacher at Columbine. He laid in the science room for over three hours, bleeding out. It got to the point where they had the sign in the window. One injured, bleeding. He laid there for three hours. No reason for that to happen,” Battalion Chief Brian Trickey with the Kansas City Fire Department explained.

Kansas City firefighters and police officers are creating new rescue task forces that will help shave off the amount of time it takes to treat victims.

“Under the old way of doing it, we would stage around the corner two blocks away, wait for PD to make the process safe,” Trickey continued.

Now, they’re training to send teams into the building to grab victims and bring them to safety.

“This particular method is much more like combat training, where we’re going in with the police, and they’re out shield, and we’re going to go in and rapidly extract the victims so we can give them better care once we get them outside,” firefighter Nicholas Barr said.

The task force is made up of a team of at least four people, in a single line. Firefighters are in the middle, and police lead and guard, in the front and back.

“Working with him helps to build that trust and it’s something that’s good for the community as well as for us to integrate with them more often to work on these types of training activities to build that trust,” Barr continued.

The fire department told FOX 4 only 15-20% of agencies across the country use this type of rescue task group. This is a first for Kansas City.

“They’re doing what they do best, and that’s protection and KCFD is doing what we do best, and that’s providing medical services to injured people,” Trickey said.

Wednesday’s training is still part of the planning. The first responders will review what they learned, look for weak spots, make adjustments and train again. They hope these groups will be ready to deploy within six months.

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