SALINE COUNTY, Ark – Multiple agencies came together to take part in what they called a full-scale active shooter exercise. It’s meant to be one of the most realistic training exercises for local police and first responders.
Saline’s Director of Emergency Management, Brandon Guillot says the Bryant Police Department, Bryant Fire Department, Benton Police Department, Benton Fire Department,
Saline County Sheriff’s Office and Pafford EMS geared up for training to take on the worst situation.
“Practicing the unified command theory when it comes to responding to active shooter incidents.” Guillot adds, “it gives us the opportunity to test our tactics, test our training and our abilities to communicate and work together as a team in the field.”
Guillot says communication among all the agencies during an active shooter incident is crucial.
“We strive to have this level of communication across our various jurisdictions and our various disciplines,” said Guillot.
Although Guillot says they took down the shooter within minutes. Every department was challenged during the training like the rescue task force handling hard scenarios.
“We had four that were dead, and I believe we had 8-10 that had to be transported. They were critically injured so this was a sufficient load on our rescue task forces,” said Guillot.
11-year-old Eli McQueeny participated in the exercise as an injured child, but he says why he felt it necessary to contribute.
“I know that the cops and all of them do a good job and I want them to experience this,” said McQueeny.
As for participant Kristin Rachel, the reality of the situation hit home.
“There’s nothing that compares to being in the midst of it and for someone to experience that in real life I can’t imagine,” said Rachel.
However, Guillot says because of difficult exercises like this they can learn something from them that could hopefully help them if an incident does occur.
“It’s one thing to go out and execute it. Now we need to go out and discuss what went right, what went wrong, and then hone our training program,” said Guillot.