1st responders spend week training for active shooter | SteamboatToday.com

1st responders spend week training for active shooter

Members of the Steamboat Springs Police Department train Thursday for an active-shooter scenario at Steamboat Springs High School. The training was open to all pubic safety agencies in Routt County. Agencies from Moffat and Grand counties also took part. The officers were preparing for a worst-case scenario by getting all law enforcement and emergency responders up to date on the latest tactics as well as building cooperation among agencies.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — There were no classes at Steamboat Springs High School this week, but the hallways and a few classrooms provided the perfect backdrop for learning.

Local law enforcement and first responders conducted a series of active-shooter and threat-response training exercises at the high school throughout the week. There was a large presence of agencies — including police officers, firefighters and EMS personnel — in and around the high school.

"It is open to all available police agencies in Routt County as well as Moffat County and Grand County," said Steamboat Springs Police Department Sgt. Jeff Wilson, who led the training. "The big thing on that is that we can incorporate other agencies all working together … because that's what is going to happen in this situation."

Under the direction of Wilson, the Rapid and Immediate Deployment group comprises members of the police department, Routt County Sheriff’s Office and other area law enforcement agencies. During the training, the group participated in several classroom sessions as well as live exercises. This week members of the Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue also took part. Something that hasn’t always happened in the past.

“If we had a major incident, we would need to rely on each other,” said Cory Christensen, Steamboat police chief. “It was a little different this year because Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue participated and were great training partners.”

Wilson said schools are great for training because they offer a variety of hallways and rooms, but the scenarios trainers used this week were not limited to schools.

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"Even though we are fortunate enough to use schools, we still base our scenarios around other businesses, other buildings," Wilson said. "It's not just officers getting dispatched to schools for school shootings."

Christensen said he hopes the lessons learned this week will never need to be used.

“We hope it never happens, but if it does, we want to be prepared,” Christensen said.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966