Excerpts from Mysuburbanlife.com:
To be proactive in training for [live-shooter] situations, about 150 members of the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District and the Algonquin and Lake in the Hills police departments participated in rescue task force training throughout the past week. It was the first time the three agencies from bordering communities trained together on such a large scale.
The training sessions took place over three days at the former Duralife building in Algonquin, and included classroom activities as well as practical training on equipment use, moving through the building where a threat has been located, and carrying wounded victims to safety. Owners donated the use of the building for training.
The relatively new technique practiced is called rapid deployment, where small groups of police officers and firefighters will enter an active scene, such as a school shooting, before the scene has been completely secured.
“Typically a fire department would stage, wait a bit away from the scene, until police were able to secure it and make it 100 percent safe for firefighter personnel,” Lake in the Hills Police Sgt. Lloyd Howen said. “Well, people are dying. People that can survive … need medical care right away.”
“Our whole mission of the rescue task force is to save as many lives as possible and get medical treatment to innocent victims as quickly as we can,” Howen said.
Typically, a rescue task force includes about two police officers and two firefighter/paramedics entering an active violence scene together. Police officers provide security while paramedics take care of the injured.
But working in groups requires the agencies to share their language and expertise with each other, which is where the training is important.
The fire department received a grant to help buy four ballistic vests and helmets for firefighters and police invested in medical equipment including portable transport units to carry wounded people from a scene.