Local first responders wrap up active shooter training

NC7's Jamilka Gibson shows how first responders are using a multi-agency training simulation to stay ahead of the game.
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 7:08 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - As mass shootings across America continue to rise, local first responders are preparing themselves in case tragedy strikes.

Thursday morning first responders from several different agencies came together for the final day of the Advanced Active Shooter Incident Management training. The three-day training took place at Gulf Coast State College.

The nearly $80,000 advanced training course was funded by the United States Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.

Tommy Ford is the Sheriff of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. He says multi-agency training is very important when it comes to saving lives during mass casualty situations.

“It’s also critical that we work together with our partners because if we have a shooting incident it’s not just a law enforcement issue, there are injured people that have been shot,” said Ford. “What we’ve found in active shooter scenarios incidents over the years is that we’ve got to get fire and EMS out there quickly to save lives.”

The training included everything from simulations, press briefings, staging teams, 911 dispatchers, rescue task forces, and even public information officers.

Bay County Sheriff’s Office West District Commander David Baldwin says residents can be rest assured that their safety is a top priority.

“We are getting better prepared for and when and if something nasty happens. When a bad criminal decides to do something bad against the people of Bay County,” Baldwin said.

Active Shooter Incident Management Instructor Bill Godfrey says our heroes are breaking records.

“This last scenario that we gave them they did one of the best performances I’ve seen in the last 5 years on this scenario and in fact took the record for the best transport time in getting all the injured off the scene in 24 minutes,” Godfrey said. “That was an attack where they had two attackers with automatic weapons a vehicle-born explosion that occurred and other IEDs that have been planted in the scene.”