Police, Hospital Staff Prepare for Worst With Active Shooter Drill

Police teamed up with medical personnel Monday to prepare for an active shooter scenario, which was once considered unthinkable but has now become all to real in Connecticut and across the country.

"Police officers responded to a disgruntled family member who let off an improvised explosive device and also shot many victims," explained Stephen Donahue, program director at Hartford Hospital's Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation.

He said the drill could play a major role in saving lives in the future. Participants received hands-on tactical training to increase survival rates during a mass casualty incident, learning how to stop the bleeding with a tourniquet and stabilize a patient.

"Without this type of training, some of these victims could be seriously injured or have a high risk of death prior to arriving at the emergency department," said Hartford Hospital emergency physician Dr. Thomas Nowicki.

Brian Wallace, who works on West Hartford's Tactical Unit, said this type of physical training is key to emergency responders' preparation.

"This is kind of 'where the rubber meets the road' type of thing. It’s good to take the classroom and bring it to the realistic type of training," said Wallace.

Hartford Hospital recently received a grant to allow it to hold simulations monthly with police officers and military personnel throughout the region. Some 175 officers from 63 state agencies have been trained so far.

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