Metro agencies hold active shooter training focused on getting faster help for victims

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ODESSA, Mo. -- First responders from the eastern part of the metro joined forces for a new approach to an active shooter scenario. It’s one that aims to get help to victims faster.

Police and fire departments from Oak Grove, Odessa, Grain Valley, Buckner, and Sni Valley fire took part in the drills inside of an abandoned school building in Odessa.They ran through an active shooter drill to determine best practices when there are victims on the ground, but a shooter still on the loose.

“No longer are the days of Columbine where we surround and wait. It’s one to two officers get in the door and go find the shooter,” said Brandon Grote, a sergeant with the Oak Grove Police Department.

Officers weren’t the only ones getting in the door faster in the training exercise; it also gets fire and rescue crews in faster.

“We come together with the other agencies to get into the patients quicker instead of like we use to stage a block away and wait for pd to clear the building,” said Mike Johnson, interim chief of the Sni Valley Fire Department.

Volunteers like Janet Bedwell signed up to help give officers as realistic of an encounter as possible. For Bedwell, there were time it felt a little too real.

“It was a lot scarier than I thought just coming down and playing a victim. I hope I never have to be in that position,” said Bedwell.

She says it makes her feel more confident that she will know what to do if ever in that situation. For officers, that’s the whole idea.

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