Multi-Event Mass Casual Training Help South Metro Emergency Units Prepare For the Unthinkable

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Posted Thu, Oct 23, 2014

Parker Town Council speaks openly about a mass casualty training event. [Photo by Emily Fox]

Parker Town Council speaks openly about a mass casualty training event. [Photo by Emily Fox]

PARKER, Colo. – Members of the Parker Town Council spoke about a mock school shooting used for training purposes at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine on Oct. 15.

“I was at the Rocky Vista , multi-event mass casual training,” said Parker Mayor Mike Waid. “It was the largest mock training, emergency training in Colorado’s history.”

The event was performed in order to alert officials and the school of potential threats to their security systems. It was also used to ensure that all police and fire agencies are following the same rules during these extreme situations.

“We had several agencies throughout the county… all around including the U.S. Army,” said Amy Holland, town council member.

Parker Police Department, Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, South Metro Fire Rescue, U.S. Army, Colorado State Patrol, Auraria Police Department, Castle Rock Police Department and many more were all there to train and help in any way possible. Intercommunication skills were put to the test to find out how well the agencies could coordinate.

“I wouldn’t (have been) surprised if I saw Park Meadows Mall Security rolling through there,” said Waid. “I mean they had every agency you could think of, so how do those people communicate? Who’s in charge and who does this and who does that?”

“It was quite impressive to see, watching it on the cameras,” said Waid.

Parker Mayor Mike Waid was impressed by the exercise. [Photo by Town of Parker]

The students were also on site to help out with the training. Playing the victims, they got to experience what it would take to evacuate during an emergency situation. With fake blood donning their clothes and others being shot to death, Waid found it a little difficult to watch at times.

“It was quite impressive to see, watching it on the cameras,” said Waid. “I actually, at one point, had to get up and kind of walk away because I just can’t imagine.”

For some of the students it was a fun, educational event that let them know how to evacuate in an emergency. For the medical students, however, it was a chance to test their skills. Many were assessed on how fast they could respond in triage situations.

For the school itself, it was a chance to find out what was wrong with their system and how it could be fixed.

“We were watching it on closed circuit TVs through their existing security cameras,” said Waid. “Well they found a pretty big flaw when all of a sudden they found out the gunman was held up in the library and guess what is the one part of the building that doesn’t have a security camera in it, the library.”

Amy Holland Web

“We had several agencies throughout the county… all around including the U.S. Army,” — Amy Holland, town council member.

Rocky Vista University now knows that they have a flaw in their system that they will have to fix right away.

After a shooting at Arapahoe High School on Dec. 13, 2013, which resulted in the death of two students, schools and emergency units around Colorado are determined to be well-prepared for any situation. They need to be able to react swiftly and smoothly without any missteps.

Colorado has been the scene of two large mass murders. On July, 20, 2012, James Holmes entered a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” dressed in costume. Using tear gas grenades and multiple firearms he proceeded to kill 12 and injure 70.

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold strategically entered Columbine High School with bombs, firearms and other explosive devices. They proceeded to kill 12 students and one teacher while injuring 21 others. The pair then committed suicide.

Top Five Mass Shootings in the United States
32 killed – April 16, 2007 – Virginia Tech- Blacksburg, Virginia
27 killed – December 14, 2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School -Newtown, Connecticut
23 killed – October 16, 1991 – Killeen, Texas
21 killed – July 18, 1984 – San Ysidro, California
18 killed – August 1, 1966 – In Austin, Texas

About Emily Fox

Emily Pennetti is a Metro State Journalism Student in Denver, Co. She works as a cosmetologist and freelance writer on the side.

View all posts by Emily Fox

3 Responses to “Multi-Event Mass Casual Training Help South Metro Emergency Units Prepare For the Unthinkable”

  1. Nancy Says:

    Emily this is a great article. I was a freshman at Columbine in 1999 and if local town agencies and government councils can take measures that these tragedies will not happen again gives me hope. Very well written, sounds like Parker has some good leaders.

    Reply

  2. Aaron Lambert Says:

    Very interesting subject, and well-reported. You do a good job informing readers how Colorado is preparing for horrible tragedies such as the ones that have already happened. Good job!

    Reply

  3. Joseph Rios Says:

    Story was interesting, I like the statistics you used at the end as well.

    Reply

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