JENKINS TOWNSHIP -- When there's a shooting, things turn frantic in a hurry, especially for first responders. How do they prepare for the worst?
Amidst the smoke, shots rang out. Inside, you could hear victims screaming. Blood was everywhere. The injuries looked gruesome. All of this is make believe, of course, but first responders gave Newswatch 16 an up-close look at what an active shooter situation looks like.
In light of recent mass shootings across the country, this demonstration near Pittston gave medical personnel invaluable experience.
"As we've learned in the recent years, the active shooter events and active threat events keep continuing and where we traditionally would wait for the police to go in, they would completely secure the scene and then evacuate the victims out to EMS, we've learned that we need to get EMS and medical care up to the victims to be able to treat them quicker," said Asst. Chief Ken Davidson, Second Alarmers Montgomery County.
"It takes three to five minutes to bleed out from a femoral artery bleed, and we're trying to get these people to the casualties as soon as possible."
The drill at the old Pittston hospital featured everything from fake blood and smoke grenades to sounding alarms and gunshots. Scenarios that the first responders are usually not trained for.
"There are certain type of procedures that have to take place, certain types of movements, certain types of things we can and cannot do as we would go on our normal, everyday medical operations," said Edward Szafran, chief of operations with Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance.
Organizers wanted to make this simulation as chaotic as possible, so that if someone here has to respond to an active shooter situation, they know how to deal with situations like this.
"You can sit in the classroom and talk about it all you want, but until you've actually gone in and done that, when you get there and the adrenaline is pumping, it's not the first time you experience it. So, I think it's critical that you have training like this to give them an idea of what to expect," Davidson said.