REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- What can police and firefighters do to save lives more quickly when an intruder takes over a building and begins shooting? That was the objective of a joint-training exercise for possible intruders at Canada College in Redwood City on Friday.
The training exercise occurred inside a movie fittingly called "The Predator." There were role players inside the theatre when an "intruder" began firing into the crowd. People acted as either wounded or dead victims.
Officers responded on the street as people passed them saying that there was a shooter.
The team of first-responding officers was called the "contact team," the ones chosen to neutralize the shooters.
The second group was called the "rescue team," the ones who guided firefighters and EMTs to the scene as the first team began securing areas of the theatre.
In another part of the building, the contact team "killed" three intruders as the second group fanned out through the theatre to see if other shooters were still there.
After they determined that there were no others, firefighters and paramedics were allowed in to treat the "wounded."
Time is of the essence -- that is what the training was all about.
"Past history was we waited until everything's code four. There's no more threat, we bring in fire. It's too long. People are bleeding out," Hillsborough Police Capt. Doug Davis said.
Police and firefighters learned a lot from the Columbine massacre. Back then, firefighters and medics waited or staged until police told them it was safe to go on.
Now there's a new protocol called force protection.
Battalion Chief David Pucci said they no longer wait for police to secure the entire area. "We'll actually enter a building, working with law enforcement to secure that scene inside the building while they're still dealing with the active shooter," he said.
For police, the training gave them another perspective. "When you bring in fire and EMS, it's a whole other dynamic that we're just not used to seeing," San Mateo County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Rebecca Rosenblatt said.
The goal is to get police, fire and medical services on the same page the next time they confront an active shooter.
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