Fire, EMS take part in FBI training

First responders, officials discuss tactics and challenges associated with active shooters

By Monique Brand
Kerrville Daily Times

KERRVILLE, Texas — About 50 first responders from around the Hill Country gathered at Schreiner University on Thursday to discuss successful practices and lessons learned from various critical incidents.

Gregory Pratt, a training coordinator with the Federal Bureau of Investigation — San Antonio division, said similar conferences like these are conducted throughout the state and country each year.

“This gives every department involved training on any event involving an active shooter or a similar situation,” Pratt said. “Our bureau offers supportive resources like victim assistance, crime scene management, crisis and media management.”

Thursday’s audience included leaders from Kerrville’s police and fire department.

David Knight, chief of the Kerrville Police Department, said the training is part of a collaborative effort to protect the citizens of the community.

“The city has plans for any critical event that may happen, but we need to exercise them to make sure the tactics receive positive results,” Knight said.

The two-day conference, held inside the Cailloux Student Campus Activity Center ballroom, was concluded with a tabletop exercise allowing participants to discuss response strategies, such as services needed and possible challenges or obstacles.

Dannie Smith, chief of the city’s fire department, participated in the hands-on simulation.

“Our department handles victims while other first responders handle the tactics,” Smith said. “With support from each emergency service department, our mission to protect our citizens will continue.”

This seminar, called the Active Shooter Executive Law Enforcement Conference, began in January 2013, after a federal legislation, the Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012, was signed as a response to tragic events, including the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut.

The legislation allows federal agencies to work with local law enforcement and offer assistance during critical incidents such as mass killings.

Copyright 2016 the Kerrville Daily Times

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