TUCSON, Ariz. - A gunman trying to kill as many as possible in a school, church or workplace.
It's a real and regular threat in our world today. KGUN9 On Your Side's Craig Smith reports on a new push for preparedness and a volunteer effort to help us all train for trouble.
The calls echoed through the halls of the former Hohokam Middle School: "Help! Somebody help me!”
A Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy pointed an assault rifle down the hall as he shouted, “Walk to the sound of my voice! Walk to the sound of my voice!"
Pima Sheriff's Deputies, firefighters, and emergency medical specialists were preparing to cope with chaos and killing.
This day the building that was home to Hohokam Middle School was home to a series of critical life-saving drills.
Their tactics are changing. There was a time when law enforcement held back emergency medical help until a shooter was dead or safely under arrest.
But people could die of their wounds while they waited. Now some deputies work to take out the shooter while others protect medical responders working to keep the wounded alive.
Drexel Heights Firefighter Michael Shultz says, “We're calling it the warm zone. Our immediate threat area we call the hot zone. So we're going into an indirect area to start initiating care and either doing care and moving on or actually getting our casualties and moving them out so they can receive further care or transport to the hospital."
Drexel Heights Fire District is training with Pima Sheriff's Deputies and responders from the Pascua Yaqui Fire Department.
Volunteers are leading the training. An organization called ICSAVE brings together active duty and retired emergency response experts to share their life-saving know-how at no charge.
Lisa Van Holsbeke is a retired Federal Agent working with ICSAVE. She says, “Usually there are companies that do charge for stuff like this and so this idea of people coming together seeing a need and if we volunteer our time and we work with community agencies as well as community partners, then we can actually improve the safety and the survivability of particularly like today the active shooter events."
And that could help anyone be ready to help themselves and help others when someone tries to spread as much hurt as they can.