Milwaukee Police, Fire Departments take active shooter training

CREATED Apr 8, 2014

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MILWAUKEE -  Firefighters and police officers work side by side every day. In the event of an active shooter, those who serve the city of Milwaukee are being trained to work closer than ever before in the hopes that teamwork can save more lives.

The Milwaukee Fire and Police Departments got together at this old building today for some new training. They walked the halls of the former Edison Middle School, putting themselves in the scenario of an active shooter.

Victims moan, cry out and wait for help. But with past protocol, paramedics cant get to victims until police clear every room and take the gunman into custody.  Chiefs Ed Flynn and Mark Rohlfing agree, that needs to change. The idea of sending paramedics into a hostile situation originated after the movie theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado.

"We also learned from Aurora that obviously waiting for a scene to be completely secure before medical personnel entered the scene uh was a risk to uh patients and to casualties," said Chief Ed Flynn, Milwaukee police department.

Milwaukee is now leading the way with this new protocol. They're training to send paramedics into an active shooter situation, with police protection, even if the shooter is not yet in custody.

"You know I think that we try to remind them that's no more on the front lines, going into a building to provide medical care in this situation as it is carrying a hose line into a burning building," said Chief Mark Rohlfing, Milwaukee fire department.

They call this the diamond formation, four medics surrounded by four officers move swiftly from room to room.

In this training session, the diamond formation's startled as shots ring out on another floor. They learn to react just as they would in a real life scenario.

This is just one day of training. Classes like this will continue here through may when a total of 830 fire fighters and nearly 18-hundred police officers will have been trained.