Rescue Task Force Training at Mall St. Vincent
If you see a lot of emergency vehicles at Mall St. Vincent tomorrow, don't be alarmed. It's only a drill.
The Rescue Task Force, made up of law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel, will hold an active shooter drill at the mall from 6:30 to 9:30 tomorrow morning. Mall property will be closed to the public during that time.
According to a Caddo Sheriff's Office news release, the exercise will test triage, treatment and transport involving firefighters and EMS during a mock active shooter incident. Fire and EMS will work with law enforcement in a secured zone.
"RTF teams allow firefighters, EMS and law enforcement officers to focus on what they already do best and not try to make fire into tactical personnel, or police into medical treatment experts," said Sheriff Steve Prator.
With the formation of the Rescue Task Force, the groups will be able to reach victims sooner.
"Unlike previous approaches, where fire and EMS would wait and stage until the area is secure, the Rescue Task Force (RTF) will specifically integrate their service with the law enforcement response," Sheriff Prator said. "Waiting for an area to be secured could take hours. Now the focus is on getting aid to the wounded as soon as possible, even while law enforcement is still clearing the structure."
"The training received and the ballistic equipment worn will allow our firefighters to respond to active shooter events under the protection of our law enforcement officers, resulting in lifesaving care quicker for our citizens," Fire Chief Scott Wolverton added.
The drill will involve the Caddo Sheriff's Office, Shreveport Fire Department, Shreveport Police Department and Mall St. Vincent Security. Shreveport Fire Academy recruits will play the 'victims' during the exercise.
This will be the first joint RTF drill. Training began in January and included eight-hour classroom instruction sessions and practical exercises. More than 400 Shreveport firefighters and 100 Caddo Parish District firefighters have been trained so far.