If it happens here … will we be ready? Local authorities think so

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Local law enforcement got training last week so that they can be ready if the worst case scenario comes to life: an active shooter event.

The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office hosted a special training last week with other local first responders.

The event was designed to simulate an active shooter event and train authorities on how to handle those situations, should they arise.

Last week alone, there were several mass shooting events in the United States.

This course, called “Active Attack Integrated Response” is designed to allow law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical service personnel the opportunity to train together in a staged active shooter event.

The training took place at Central Lafourche High School.

“In order to save lives in such incidents, you must have cooperation among agencies,” said Sheriff Craig Webre. “It’s absolutely critical that our local law enforcement agencies, EMS, and fire departments train together to maximize preservation of life. This training demonstrates the evolution of our commitment to school safety. We continue to ensure our school resource officers, D.A.R.E. officers, and all deputies are prepared to respond when a situation arises.”

Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University hosted the training.

It’s a two-day, 16-hour course designed to improve integration between law enforcement, dispatchers, fire and emergency medical services in active shooter events.

The course provides law enforcement officers with tactical emergency casualty care skills, which increase a victim’s chances of survival.

The course also provides a model framework for law enforcement, fire and EMS to integrate responses during an active attack through the rescue task force concept.

LPSO, the Lockport Police Department and Port Fourchon Harbor Police attended the event, as well as the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office, Houma Police, Grand Isle Police and Gulfport Police Department.

The training also included personnel from Acadian Ambulance, the U.S. Coast Guard and firefighters from Lafourche Parish Fire District No. 3, Chackbay Volunteer Fire Department and the Bayou Blue Volunteer Fire Department.

Kully Griffin, the Fire Chief for Lafourche Parish Fire District No. 3 said the training was invaluable and will help first responders if an active emergency arises.

“When it comes to complicated emergencies, agencies that train and work together are better prepared to handle them,” Griffin said. “This training helped bring to focus multiple aspects of an active shooter scenario, and our members who participated are excited to share their knowledge with everyone else.”

Chad Davis, Operations Supervisor for Acadian Ambulance, said: “Every emergency response agency should attend this type of training. EMS, fire departments, and LPSO all working as one unit to respond to an active shooter event will save lives.”

In addition to the training, all P.O.S.T.-certified LPSO deputies have taken part in single-day active shooter training exercises this past month.

Lieutenant John Champagne, an LPSO ALERRT instructor who assisted in coordinating both training sessions, echoed Sheriff Webre’s sentiments. “Every time there is another mass shooting, we learn more about law enforcement’s response – what worked and what didn’t,” said Lt. Champagne. “Unfortunately, the shooters learn and evolve as well. We have to do our best to stay one step ahead at all times, and these training courses are a major step forward in minimizing casualties if such an event ever occurs. It’s the type of training we hope we never need.”