LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Police and fire personnel Tuesday held a joint training drill to prepare hospital staff and first responders for improved inter-agency communication during active shooter scenarios.
KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports the drill comes partly in response to last November’s deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Officials with the Los Angeles Police and Fire Departments held the “Unified Response” exercise at the California Hospital Medical Center in downtown LA to familiarize hospital staff with how best to respond during an active shooter event.
As part of the exercise, LAPD and LAFD personnel fielded simulated calls for help to direct first responders to the victims as soon as possible.
“This is where we will utilize groups of firefighters in conjunction with law enforcement officers to actually enter what we call the ‘warm zones’ of an active shooting incident to provide life-saving measures to the victims,” said LAFD Deputy Chief Joe Castro.
Fire officials reviewed data from the last 10 years from around the country on active shooting situations and found the typical response time was about 12 minutes on average, according to Castro.
However, the review also found it took about 36 minutes – or three times as long – to extricate victims from an active shooter situation, a conclusion Castro said was “unacceptable” in the wake of the LAX shooting.
“What if there had been more than one shooter, and what if there had been victims in there bleeding to death?” asked Castro.
Rescue teams will be equipped with body armor and ballistic helmets as part of the active shooter training, according to officials.