First responders learned lessons in Jan. 8 tragedy - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

First responders learned lessons in tragedy

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Jan. 8 is a painful memory for many of the first responders who treated patients in the Safeway parking lot that day. At the same time, it's something they can learn from to make sure they're best prepared for that next call.

"We've learned from this response on January 8th in many, many ways," Northwest Fire Captain Adam Goldberg said.

Lessons learned not only as a department, but as individuals. Goldberg says that day even the youngest firefighters and paramedics grew into seasoned veterans working through the chaos.

"It usually takes some time for a paramedic to get comfortable, get confident and to have the skills the public expects us to have like second-hand nature," Goldberg said. "These guys learned that in a matter of two hours."

And with those lessons engrained in their minds, Goldberg told KOLD News 13, those firefighters now know that each training session really could be the difference between life and death.

"We found that the men and women of the sheriff's department responded very professionally, very courageously," Pima County Sheriff's Captain Byron Gwaltney said.

Pima County Sheriff's deputies didn't only secure the scene that day, they also helped the wounded.

Deputies arrived on scene with first aid kits they received six months earlier, similar to those the military uses. The first aid kits along with training have been credited for saving lives Jan. 8.

"What we learned is that we have to be prepared for that," Golder Ranch Fire Chief Randy Karrer said.

And to be prepared, Chief Karrer believes our community needs a dedicated regionalized emergency response system. A specific frequency to help local first responders know what resources are coming and when, in case they ever have to respond to something like the Jan. 8 shootings again.

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