Illinois emergency responders train to prevent mass shootings
Mass shootings have devastated our country the last several years.
In order to be better prepared if one hits Illinois, emergency responders held a mock shooting Saturday to prepare themselves.
This exercise was held inside Flinn Stadium in Quincy.
Javier Lofton is a new deputy with the Adams County Sheriff's Department.
"You always got to treat it like it's the real deal," Lofton said.
With limited field experience, he's been asked to participate in an intense training exercise.
"It's an active shooter scenario and, so there is, Adams County Emergency Management Agency Director John Simon said. We have a couple simulated bad guys that will enter the facility, and then simulate shooting several people in the crowd. And then engage police once they arrive."
It's a scene Lofton hopes he never will witness.
You're coming to the scene and you're thinking. I mean, I don't have kids, but you're thinking somebody's kid is out there, somebody's grandma, somebody's parent," Lofton said.
It all starts with a call from an emergency dispatcher.
"They will be briefed that the event is a Special Olympics event, Quincy Police Department Deputy Chief Dennis Bingheim said. That somebody has called 911 and said that there are people bleeding and that someone's shooting a gun."
Lofton and other law enforcement officers gathered outside of Flinn Stadium.
"We'll be responding from the Adams County Sheriff's Department, the Quincy Police Department and the Illinois State Police," Bingheim said.
However, they're given a limited amount of time to come up with a strategy.
"The first thing is communicating, like we touched on right there. Lofton said. I TMm trying to see what TMs going on. I'm trying to locate my other officers and seeing what their positions are, and what they're seeing."
Once inside, the officers search for the shooters and take them down.
After the stadium is cleared, the officers radio in paramedics.
"The response will come from on duty personal, EMS, and then a fire response as well," Simon said.
The paramedic's assess which victims are severely injured or dead.
The surviving victims are taken to a makeshift triage outside of the stadium.
With his first active shooter scenario completed, Lofton felt relieved. But he still believes he could use more training before he comes face-to-face with a real gunman.
"The more training you do, the more prepared, for a situation like this," Lofton said.
All of the victims were taken to Blessing Hospital.
On arrival, Blessing TMs staff members practiced treating gunshot wounds on the volunteers.
More than 30 people volunteered to play the victims in this shooting.