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Active shooter training in Pleasanton

Tri-Valley public safety agencies prepare for threat in Amador Valley High simulation

Mass casualty shootings such as at Isla Vista, Santa Barbara, Sandy Hook Elementary, a Colorado movie theater and Columbine High School have prompted law enforcement and fire services, like those in and around Pleasanton, to train together in order to prepare for an active shooter incident.

Since the Columbine massacre in 1999, in which 13 people were killed, more than 250 people have been killed in an active shooter incident, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

"Post-Columbine, we've noticed these deaths were all preventable," said Lt. Mike Elerick of Pleasanton Police Department's special operations unit.

Elerick added that when these types of mass casualties happen, it's emergency medical services (EMS) that have the training to help wounded victims. Due to fire services policy, EMS is required to stage away from the active shooter scene, known as the "hot zone," until law enforcement has deemed the scene safe.

"If we can get firefighters inside with police, the more lives can be saved," Elerick said.

In order to be better prepared for an active shooter incident, Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore police departments, as well as Livermore-Pleasanton firefighters joined together and went through a day-long active shooter/fire concepts training on July 28 at Amador Valley High School.

In the morning they learned about different tactics that can be used in an active shooter situation, and in the afternoon they were able to put these tactics to the test as they went through scenarios in a school setting -- which is where 34% of active shooter incidents occur, according to an FBI study.

Officers and firefighters were able to establish common tactics, communication capabilities and terminology to have an effective operation procedure.

With this new operation response, both police and fire services will enter the scene together as opposed to police securing the scene and then allowing EMS to enter.

Last week's first scenario started off with a loud bang and some gunshots, followed by screaming and calls for help.

"He's got a gun! Help! He's shooting," yelled one of the role players.

No more than five seconds later, a team of police officers run into the school asking where the suspect went and what he looks like.

Police officers already on-scene that came across a wounded victim had to communicate to the Command Post where the victim was located and what kind of injury he/she had. However, officers could not help the victim, but only leave the victim in place to wait for the firefighters.

"It's the police officer's job to stop the shooter. If they spend time helping a victim, they're giving more time to the shooter to hurt even more victims," said Elerick, adding that this type of mentality is most difficult for officers that have children.

Soon after, a group of four to five firefighters entered the scene surrounded by a group of police officers with their rifle or handgun in position to shoot.

As the scenario went on, one by one, officers accompanied firefighters into the "hot zone" to find wounded victims, played by high school students and Police Explorers (teenagers interested in a career in law enforcement), and give them the proper medical assistance needed.

After officers escorted the firefighters and victims out of the shooting area, they go back to finding and stopping the shooter.

Once the scenario finished, officers and firefighters gathered together to receive critiques from the force operation instructors.

Pleasanton Sgt. Mike Collins commented on how well officers used their weapons and the communication between the Command Post and teams.

After a short break, they went through another scenario -- for a total of three different types of active shooter situations.

Pleasanton police officer Matt Kroutil said the training went well and really put things into perspective as he went through each real-life scenario.

"By implementing the fire services, it made it more real," he said, adding that he learned how slowing down and taking things step-by-step actually made the operation go by smoother and faster.

Last week's training was the second of four active shooter trainings planned this year for Tri-Valley agencies.

According to Elerick, it was LPFD's assistant chief Joe Rodondi who contacted Pleasanton police to see if they were interested in developing a joint training with neighboring agencies such as Dublin and Livermore police. If there was ever an active shooter incident, all four agencies would respond to the scene.

"It's so much better to do it now than the first time it happens," Elerick said.

Allyson Camillucci, an incoming junior at Amador Valley High School and Pleasanton Police Explorer, said she thinks it's great that officers and firefighters are going through an active shooter training.

"I just feel safer knowing they're already trained for these types of situations," she added.

Active shooter statistics

The FBI has conducted many academic studies on active shooting incidents from 2001-2010 and has come up with the following findings.

In a study of 84 active shooter incidents, most incidents occur in a small- or medium-sized community where police departments are limited by budget constraints and small work forces.

According to FBI statistics, 37% happen at a business, 34% school, 17% public venue and 12% other locations.

The average active shooter incident lasts 12 minutes -- 37% last less than 5 minutes, 43% are over before police arrive and 57% are still happening when police arrive.

When it comes to the shooter, FBI studies have found that the culprit is almost always a single-shooter (98%) and is a male (97%).

In addition, 40% of active shooters commit suicide, 10% stop shooting and walk away, and 20% go to another location.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by William Tell
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2014 at 8:36 am

Good for them. We all know that Sandy Hook and the Aurora shooting were government-orchestrated false flag operations designed to take away our second amendment rights. But if this were to happen in Pleasanton, you could bet it would be an urban youth from the East Bay - and with BART to Stoneridge and more low-income housing on the way - it's a real possibility.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2014 at 9:18 am

God help us that we're preparing for mass shootings and mass casualties in our schools as if such shootings were a natural disaster of some kind. But shootings like that are human-created events, with human causes and human solutions. So, sure, be prepared. But we're coming to expect shootings instead of seeking solutions in improved mental health services, and much stricter control of access to weapons (particularly to those with documented mental health issues, previous violence, etc etc). Sure, it's a hot-button issue, but the easy access to firearms and our bizarre fixation with access to high power, large capacity weapons is something we need to address. Go ahead and duck and cover, but this is not going to stop the problem.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 8, 2014 at 9:34 am

Hopefully, the PD will weed out the Plutonians with a history of racial/ethnic/sexist hate postings on this blog.

It's most likely that any potential killers will come from a local public/private ementary/middle/high school. sad but true...



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 8, 2014 at 9:57 am

will tel - Serial Killer Statistics: Web Link
It appears that the killers are most likely to be "white".

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...the numbers don't lie...think about it


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 8, 2014 at 10:51 am

Why not the first poster on this thread give us all a lesson in Probability Theory so that we all understand how she/he arrived at the racist conclusion.

The implication that the shooter is likely to come from a racial/ethnic minority individual is all about race baiting. sad...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Oh William, Do Tell
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Part of the problem with an anonymous board is that some of the sentiments expressed are So Extreme that, if true, they verge on self-parody. I would prefer to believe that we're being hoodwinked by the loony likes of "William Tell," rather than to have to believe that he thinks his aim is true.

So please, William, write back soon and let us in on the joke. I do not want to fear that Anyone would be so deluded as to actually believe what you wrote. Especially someone with access to a firearm ...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 8, 2014 at 5:14 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Part of the problem with judgmental, self righteous posters is that they don't know enough not to post the same accusations and insinuations twice.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 8, 2014 at 5:17 pm

The far better way to do it is like I've been doing for years. Say the same things 6-8 times per thread, but change your name each time.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 8, 2014 at 7:41 pm

(Removed because it was irrelevant)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Oh William, Do Tell
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2014 at 8:10 am

(Removed because it was irrelevant)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Care About My Kids
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 9, 2014 at 8:12 am

About time!

The president is protected by armed guards. Senators are protected by armed guards. Banks are protected by armed guards. Drug dealers are protected by armed guards. Sports stars are protected by armed guards. Our kids are protected by signs that read "Gun Free Zone!"

I'd rather see signs that say "Our staff is armed. Any attempt to harm the children will be met with deadly force."

Maybe we should get rid of the Secret Service and put "Gun Free Zone!" signs all around the White House. That should do it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 9, 2014 at 8:19 am

Yes! Because a thoroughly armed society is the kind of society, we desire to live in. Because everyone will be armed, it won't matter how many crazies with guns are out there. We'll just shoot them all.

Neighbor won't turn down his music? Boom! Teenagers laugh at me when I trip over a curb? Boom! Guy cuts me off in traffic? Boom! Only in this way will America recapture its true, greatness.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Aug 9, 2014 at 8:45 am

@Care : "The president is protected by armed guards. Senators are protected by armed guards. Banks are protected by armed guards. Drug dealers are protected by armed guards. Sports stars are protected by armed guards."

And for good reason. All the people you mentioned are natural targets for armed violence. Banks, too. I notice that you didn't say "Supermarkets are protected by armed guards" or "Pet Stores are protected by armed guards" or "Coffeeshops are protected by armed guards". I'm not opposed to having a few highly trained staff at a school with access to secured guns in the event of an emergency, but if you're imagining having most or all of the school staff armed with guns then it's a big accident waiting to happen. Google "accidental gun discharges restaurants" and you can find lots of stories about the sorts of things that can be expected to happen.

Too many gun proponents live in a fantasy world in which gun accidents and accidental gun discharges and misuse of guns by registered gun owners never happen.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2014 at 10:05 am

Damon goes off on a rant using every cli-che in the book. What part of this don't you understand Damon? Guns don't kill people people kill people.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Oh William, Do Tell
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2014 at 10:29 am

(Removed because it was irrelevant)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul
a resident of Danbury Park
on Aug 9, 2014 at 10:37 am

Read the article again. Most of the shootings are over before the police can even respond. This just points out why we should have trained teachers and/or employees trained in firearms and they should have access to firearms at school. The reason why these shootings happen at schools is because they bad guys know they are unarmed and cannot defend themselves. Evil always prays on the defenseless.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 9, 2014 at 10:39 am

(Removed because it was irrelevant)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 9, 2014 at 10:42 am

Their praying on kids. Their praying on innocents. And the lib loonatics can only babble about bathtubs and Viagra. America; Holster Up! Protect the children in our schools and, grades will go up too.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 9, 2014 at 10:47 am

I agree that CHILDREN are America's greatest asset! VIVA CHILDREN! VIVA!

CORRECTION: They're preying and NOT "Their praying"

i rest my case...march march march

signed,

ninja turtle


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Aug 9, 2014 at 2:18 pm

@Paul : "The reason why these shootings happen at schools is because they bad guys know they are unarmed and cannot defend themselves. Evil always prays on the defenseless."

Good point, Paul. Yes, shootings by the bad guys NEVER happens at, say, a military base where there are a lot of armed people.

Oh, wait......


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul
a resident of Danbury Park
on Aug 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Damon,

Just so you are aware. Guns are not allowed to be carried at Fort Hood. This was a rule put in place at the beginning of the Obama administration. The guns on the base are secured in the base armory and can only be released upon the order of the base commander. The only military members allowed to carry weapons on a base are the MP or in the case of the Navy the SP. The Fort Hood shooter was very well aware of this when he opened fire on unarmed soldiers in the medical release facility. The only thing which stopped him from killing everyone was a female MP who took that mad dog down. You might ask why the Obama administration insisted on calling "workplace violence" rather than a terrorist act even though the shooter was screaming "Allah Akbar" as he was shooting.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 9, 2014 at 5:20 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

I'm almost flattered that the unregistered troll is using my registered name. Except for his unintentional misspellings and grammatical errors, he almost makes sense, in a Colbert kinda way (only less funny and pretty lame).
Like they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but in this case, it's just creepy and stalkerish.
Feel free to use the 'Report Objectionable Content' link on the phony libs posts. All it takes is three coherent readers clicking this link to foil the troll.


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