CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- On Friday, around 100 first responders from agencies in the south metro area trained for a mass casualty situation. The scenario that played out inside Brave Church in Cherry Hills Village was an active shooter with multiple wounded victims.
"When I started in the fire service 22 years ago, we never talked about active shooters or violent events," said South Metro Fire and Rescue training chief Jon Adams. "Now there are some weeks where I wear my bulletproof vest more than I wear my fire gear."
Nowadays, firefighters and EMTs go into situations alongside police officers. Even if a scene is still "hot" with an active shooter, they need to reach potential victims.
The training helps first responders practice life-saving skills and helps agencies learn how to work together.
"When we go on this incident, no matter where it is, we know exactly what everybody else is going to be doing," said Adams.
The simulation is designed to look as realistic as possible. Actors playing victims are made up with gruesome-looking wounds, and even use fake blood to heighten the intensity of the situation.
Over the next several weeks around 900 responders will go through the training. Area hospitals are also involved. Friday's "victims" were transported to Swedish Medical Center, where surgeons and medical personnel practiced treating them.
Additional trainings will take place this month in Highlands Ranch and Parker.