Photo courtesy of County of Kaua‘i

Kaua‘i first responders are making a collaborative effort to continue education and training in active shooter response, according to a recent news release from the County of Kaua‘i.

In March, approximately 30 personnel from the Kaua‘i Police Department, Kaua‘i Fire Department, state Department of Public Safety, and American Medical Response participated in a two-day Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) course called Active Attack Integrated Response (AAIR). The course was designed to improve integration between multiple agencies of first responders, with a special focus on enhancing survivability of victims during an active attacker event.

Photo courtesy of County of Kaua‘i

“The growing number of mass casualty incidents throughout our country has shaken communities worldwide, including our own community here on Kaua‘i,” KPD Assistant Chief Roy Asher said. “As first responders, we are committed to continuous education and training so that we’re up-to-date on the latest protocols that will better serve our people and save the lives of our citizens. We thank all participating agencies in last week’s training, along with ALERRT instructors for their time and dedication towards the overall protection of our people.”

The AAIR training was held at King Kaumuali‘i Elementary School, on March 21 and 22, while the school was closed for spring break. It entailed both classroom and field instruction, including a simulated, high-stress scenario using actors coming onto campus in a threat-like fashion.

The course also provided a model framework for law enforcement, fire, and EMS personnel to integrate responses during an active attack through the Rescue Task Force concept. This concept focuses on providing care to a victim as soon as possible by having medical responders, with the guided protection from law enforcement, enter potentially hostile situations.

Photo courtesy of County of Kaua‘i

The Rescue Task Force concept also aligns with the new National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provisional standard which details how fire departments and emergency medical technicians can aid in a mass casualty incident and increase survival rates.

“Part of this new standard is to train our medical technicians in responding to what is called the ‘hot and warm zones’ where the all-clear from police has not yet been made,” Deputy Fire Chief Kilipaki Vaughan said. “The NFPA guidelines suggest scenarios where our personnel should continue to render aid to victims in these active zones. We thank our law enforcement agencies and all involved in this important initiative as we work to train all our first responders in this life-saving protocol.”

Last month’s training was conducted by officers from KPD and adjunct instructors from the ALERRT program based in Texas.