Active shooter training brings different Etowah Co. agencies together

Active shooter training brings different Etowah Co. agencies together

ETOWAH COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - First responders in Etowah County worked together in an unusual active shooter drill.

A number of police, fire and EMS agencies in Gadsden and the surrounding area used computers with 3D software to simulate an active shooter exercise.

We saw one that took place in a courthouse, but they studied other scenarios, including a school shooting and a business office.

Richard Johnson, the Glencoe fire chief and also assistant fire chief of Rainbow City, was in a designated staging area at one point, playing “Engine Six” and waiting for further instruction.

“We’re waiting for our assignment to go to where the ‘hot zone’ is,” said Johnson. “In the past, the fire departments did their own training, the EMS, the police. This way, this has brought everybody together, and we’re working under what we call unified command. It’s allowing us to work with law enforcement and the EMA side, so we all come together on one page."

The training is being conducted by a company called C-3 Pathways, with assistance from Texas A&M University.

It's designed to get different agencies to work together.

"While police, fire and EMS work together on a daily basis, they don't work together in a way where you're literally relying on the other guy next to you, to keep you safe or do your job, but in an active shooter event, that's exactly what has to happen," says Bill Godfrey of C-3 Pathways.

The training costs around $60,000 but it was paid for by a federal grant. The Gadsden-Etowah EMA coordinated the exercise.

There was even a team of dispatchers at the location - 210 on the Tracks - to assist with the training and take part in it.

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