Over the past two days, Lamar County emergency personnel took part in an Active Attack Integrated Response Course at Travis High School.
Paris Fire Department Deputy Chief Chad Graves, an instructor for the past two days’ course, said classes like this bring together law enforcement, fire, EMS and dispatch, “getting us to work together, really intermingling in a way that on most days, luckily, we don’t work in this type of situation.
“We’re already around each other on a regular basis, but it’s typically more law enforcement-based incident or Fire/EMS-based incident – wrecks, fires, etc,” Graves said. “This really brings us together to help create that synergy to where we know what each other are doing and what we need to work on.”
The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training is a Texas State University-based training to help train law enforcement, fire, EMS as well as civilians in response.
The hopes of the training, Graves said, is to “get them all reading from the same sheet music.
“We have a plan that we’re all familiar with, and we all know what each other are doing and are going to do,” Graves said. “So if this ever happens, those pieces will fall together, they will have trained together and they will know what’s expected of each other.”
Matt Birch with Paris Police Department, also a corse instructor, said the overall goal is to “get law enforcement, fire and EMS communicating, working on the same page so we can efficiently respond to an active-shooter crisis whether it’s a school, church, business office, wherever.”
Paris Police Department Chief Richard Salter said this training will help emergency responders be better prepared for an active-shooter situation.
“We want to make sure our agencies are in sync and that our objective is to get to the threat and put it down as quick as possible – time is lives,” Salter said.
Graves said the emergency responders throughout the training performed greatly.
“It’s like every other class – a crawl, walk, run progression,” Graves said. “Yesterday was kind of wrapping your mind around how we’re doing stuff, because we’re changing a little bit of how we’re doing stuff from a day-to-day basis to today they’re definitely walking and running. I think the students would even agree that the first day is more the learning, but today they’re figuring it out.”
Birch said the emergency responders took to the training very well.
“We’re not trying to confuse them a whole lot (with the scenarios),” Birch said. “We’re confusing them some. They’re working through some problems – some we’ve planned and some real-life issues.”
Salter said the more they train, the better the response will be.
“The more we practice those small details that we iron out here, we won’t encounter if we ever have this for real. If we get even 50-60 percent of law enforcement in this region, in this county through this training, that’s 60 percent of the people who know what to do if we have a critical situation,” Salter said. “The others who haven’t gone through the training, they will be brought along. We’re good at following the leader. I think it’s outstanding training. I’m really impressed.”
Even though Fire, EMS and Law Enforcement work together on a daily basis through wrecks, Graves said those are considered high-frequency events.
“Thankfully, active-shooter situations are a low-frequency event,” Graves said. “But, unfortunately, low-frequency events are those things we have to work on and hone in on with training, because thankfully it’s not a very common incident to happen repeatedly in a single jurisdiction.”
Graves said they expect to continue this training more in the upcoming future.
Participating agencies included Paris Fire Department, Paris Police Department, EMS, LCSO, PISD PD, PJC PD, LC Emergency Management, Lamar County CERT.
Photos: Trent Reed/Myparistexas.com