Superstition Fire and Medical District hosts active-shooter-response training

Officials with the Superstition Fire and Medical District participated Jan. 20 in a mock active-shooter-response training in Apache Junction. (Photo courtesy of SMFD)

The Superstition Fire and Medical District on Jan. 20 hosted active-shooter -response training exercises at its Regional Training Center, 3700 E. 16th Ave. in Apache Junction. SFMD firefighters, along with the Apache Junction Police Department, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Public Safety and staff from Mountain Vista Medical Center worked for more than eight months to develop and implement this important event.

Both the SFMD and law enforcement recognize the importance in training for this high-risk/low-frequency type of event and were committed to develop a proactive response in case something like this were to occur within our jurisdiction. The RTC, formerly Thunder Mountain Middle School, is being leased from the Apache Junction Unified School District and served as the ideal location to conduct these exercises in a realistic and controlled environment. During the training, participants focused on three different priorities which included: understanding the rescue task force concept, rapid treatment and transportation of critically injured victims and working within a multi-agency unified command system.

The rescue task force concept allows for law enforcement to first enter the scene and secure any threats located within a “hot zone.” Firefighters, working in coordination with law enforcement, would then proceed into a “warm zone” and deliver immediate medical care for victims with treatable injuries. This process is continued until all victims are treated and removed from the area. Simultaneously, additional firefighters work to establish a medical triage and treatment area located a safe distance away in what is considered a “cold zone.” The entire event unfolds within a unified-command system where liaisons from every involved agency work together in one common location, working towards common goals. Unified command greatly enhances communication challenges involving multiple jurisdictions and allows for the immediate sharing of information.

“We are extremely proud to host this type of training at our Regional Training Center. We’ve always envisioned this campus as a location where public safety agencies from around the state can come to train and prepare their employees to better serve and protect their own communities,” Fire Chief Paul Bourgeois said. “This type of training establishes trust and enhances working relationships between agencies who don’t have the opportunity to train together on a regular basis.”

The Superstition Fire and Medical District would like to thank everyone involved for making this an extremely successful learning experience.
For more information about the SFMD, visit sfmd.az.gov. You can also follow us on social media or contact us at 480-982-4440.

Editor’s note: Brett Broman is the SMFD assistant chief of administrative services.

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