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Active shooter training focuses on patient care

COVINGTON, Ga. – Law enforcement personnel and firefighters from Covington and Newton County joined by firefighters from Atlanta and Fayetteville took part in active shooter training Friday afternoon at the old Cousins school on Geiger Street.

Fire recruits from the Rockdale County Fire Department and some employees from Newton County Public Works played the victims.

The training was conducted by Southeastern Tactical and paid for by the Region D Healthcare Coalition using funds from the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The Region D Healthcare Coalition is an emergency preparedness resource for all healthcare organizations within the eight-county Metro Atlanta area.

Justin Guck of Southeastern Tactical said the class was designed to teach police officers and firefighters emergency medical skills to save lives in the immediate aftermath of an active shooter.

“That suspect is no longer a threat to others,” he said. "That’s when we want to start treating the victims around us. So we’re teaching the fire department to do that but we’re also teaching the cops to do that.

“Now they can transition from, 'The bad guy’s no longer here, the bad guy’s no longer a threat to any other people, but if we don’t do something with these victims they could possibly die.' So we’re teaching them to start that initial care to save those lives.”

Teams of two and five searched the old school for victims of a shooter. Once they were located, they were assessed medically and evacuated to safety. Simulated gunfire and smoke along with loud heavy metal music added to the confusion of some of the scenarios.