An important milestone in local critical incident response was reached today when the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office, Scott Township Fire Department, McCutchanville Fire Department and German Township Fire Department held a joint Rescue Task Force training exercise.
During this first for the county joint exercise, members from each agency practiced skills and tactics learned last year during a Rescue Task Force (RTF) instructor course. RTF is designed to bring rapid medical care to victims of an active attacker event.
Law enforcement training and response to active attacker events has significantly improved since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. RTF allows for a dramatic reduction in the response time of medical care. Instead of waiting for the scene of an active attacker to be made completely safe, the RTF program gets trained paramedics and EMTs into the “warm zone” so that victims can be quickly triaged and evacuated. RTF allows medics to treat the gravely injured while law enforcement neutralizes the threat of an active attacker.
Sheriff Dave Wedding stated, “This training is designed to break down the communication barriers between agencies and get them working together to save lives as quickly and efficiency as possible. The concept of RTF combines the strengths that sheriff’s deputies and firefighter/EMTs bring to an active scene.”
Today’s exercise took place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Darmstadt, with volunteers and facilities generously provided by Trinity Lutheran. The Sheriff’s Office Explorer Post also provided volunteers who served as victim role players.