GREAT FALLS — The Great Falls Police Department teamed up with several other first responders in the city for a Joint Rescue Task Force training session on Tuesday afternoon. The training was held at North Middle School.
Great Falls Fire Rescue and Great Falls Emergency Services were on scene with the police officers, as personnel worked on inter-agency communications, as well as threat response tactics.
Officials were trained on how to respond to a situation where a potential threat has been taken care of, and the focus has shifted to caring for injured civilians. For example, in an active shooter situation, once the shooter has been dealt with, if there is concern that the threat may not be over, police officers may be charged with protecting emergency crews and paramedics while they tend to and extract anyone who was injured.
The agencies were faced with a number of potential real-world scenarios and threats, but the main focus was on extracting people who had been injured during an active shooter situation.
“We want to make sure that we know each other’s faces, that we know how each other reacts,” said GFPD Training Coordinator Lt. Doug Otto, when asked why it was important for the local agencies to work on communication and supporting each other. ”Get on that first name basis so when we get out there if we need something we’re not afraid to say ‘hey, I need help with this.’ we all work together to accomplish the task that’s in front of us.”
This is just one of several different training sessions that the agencies complete both together and individually throughout the year. Lieutenant Otto explained that June and July are the time for the Rescue Task Force training, but the agencies complete joint and individual training sessions year-round.