Sheriff’s Department conducts response course

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Several local agencies recently participated in an Active Attack Integrated Response Course to improve coordination between departments.

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Captain Joe Quave said the class was designed to coordinate response to an active attack event with local law enforcement agencies, fire departments and emergency medical technicians.

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A coordinated response increases the effectiveness of these agencies and improves victim survivability, he said.

Quave said this was the first time the departments engaged in training of this kind and there was a large turnout. Representatives from the Sheriff’s Department, Poplarville Police Department, Pearl River Community College Police Department, Picayune Fire Department, Carriere Volunteer Fire Department, Poplarville Fire Department and Pearl River County Hospital participated, Quave said.

In the case of an active attack event, Quave said all of the local departments would respond together, so it is important for everyone to know their role. If everyone responds together, they should train together as well, he said.

“We really appreciate PRCC and its nursing department for allowing us to use their facilities,” Quave said.

Deputy Justin Miller, who was in charge of conducting the training, said the training was being conducted through the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training program and was paid for by grant money. He said approximately 38 people attended the event.

Miller said that if an active attack event were to occur locally, law enforcement would respond first by reacting quickly and neutralizing the threat. After that, they would begin to assess whether there are victims. Miller said if there were no other threats such as a second attacker, they would then secure the scene. Once the scene was secured, a Response Task Force would be formed comprised of two law enforcement officers and two firefighters or EMTs. The officers would provide protection while trained emergency medical personnel treat and evacuate the wounded, Miller said.

The Picayune Fire Department sent three captains and a training officer to the event, Training Officer John A. Mitchell said. Mitchell said the firefighter’s primary role was to evacuate and treat the victims once the area was secured.

After law enforcement officers secure the building, firefighters follow with a security force to find victims, treat them and prepare them to be transported to a medical facility. Mitchell said depending on the severity of the attack, they would either call an ambulance, a helicopter or bring in several trucks to move the victims to a medical facility.

Mitchell said they have never participated in this kind of training before, so it was very helpful.

Mitchell said a captain was sent from each shift of the fire department so they can incorporate what they learned into their training. He said he plans to contact the Picayune Police Department soon so they can set up collaborative training to better serve the Picayune area.

“We would like to thank the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department and the Poplarville Police Department for inviting us to participate,” Mitchell said.