Ga. first responders form new rescue task force

This week, 40 first responders from multiple agencies gathered for the first nine-week training session


By News Staff

COLUMBUS, Ga. — First responders representing multiple agencies across the city are forming a new rescue task force to ensure quicker response times in the event of a mass casualty incident.

According to WTVM 9, the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, prompted an urgency in first responders to increase response times to victims. This week, 40 first responders from multiple agencies gathered for the first nine-week training program, just one session of several that will be offered year-round.

A shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School school sent students rushing into the streets as SWAT team members swarmed in and locked down the building. (Photo/ AP by Wilfredo Lee)
A shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School school sent students rushing into the streets as SWAT team members swarmed in and locked down the building. (Photo/ AP by Wilfredo Lee)

"One of the things they learned when they critiqued the Parkland shooting was that out of the 17 victims, there were 12 of those victims inside the building that had to wait for an extended amount of time before EMTs were allowed to get in and start providing emergency medical care. So, what we wanted to do nationally is find a way that we can employ," Columbus Fire Marshal Ricky Shores said.

The idea of a rescue task force took more than five years to come to fruition, but Shores believes that if responders were able to begin "stop the bleed" techniques more quickly, the amount of deaths at mass casualty events would decrease.

"We were first introduced to the concept five or six years ago. We sent personnel out to get the training to understand how to implement this concept into the way we do business," said Shores.

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