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Rescue Task Force trains for active shooter event

Firefighter/paramedic Brandon Benson and Master-at-Arms First Class Alexandra Monroy demonstrate how the Rescue Task Force would enter a warm zone together during an active shooter event.

Naval Air Station Lemoore’s Rescue Task Force (RTF) is among the first of its kind to operate within the U.S. Navy.

Commander, Navy Installations Command validated Navy Region Southwest installations to activate RTFs during active shooter and mass casualty incidents.

The concept of the RTF is to integrate emergency medical technicians into law enforcement’s response to an active shooter. The goal of the RTF is to save lives.

“We want to inject life-saving personnel into the scene more quickly to provide emergency care for the injured,” explained Fire Chief Gary Alvidrez. “The mission of saving lives remains the same. The manner of saving lives during an active shooter or mass manner needed to change.”

Traditionally, law enforcement and fire services operated independently within their own lanes of expertise as if they would never intersect during a criminal mass casualty event like an active shooter.

“This cooperative effort increases the efficiency of each public safety partner in their vital roles of preserving the lives of the innocent,” said Chief Warrant Officer Jeffrey Pierce, NAS Lemoore’s Security Officer.

In the initial moments of an active shooter or mass casualty incident, law enforcement is focused on locating, containing and eliminating the threat. Meanwhile, fire and emergency medical technician resources are planning for rapid triage, treatment and extrication of the wounded.

“It enables the police to interdict the suspect's killing spree while ensuring fire can treat and transport all immediate critical victims within 45 minutes of the initial 9-1-1 call,” Alvidrez said. “This coordinated response assures the early interdiction of the shooter and the advanced medical treatment well-within the ‘golden hour’ of trauma care. This is how lives are saved.”

NAS Lemoore’s Fire and Emergency Services and Security forces have been training together since May, and will continue to train together during regularly scheduled active shooter training exercises.

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