Oahu firefighters join police for key training on active school shooter situations

It's a terrifying scenario people hope they will never have to face, but this training is crucial.
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 5:20 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 13, 2022 at 5:33 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - First responders are training together for an active shooter on campus.

Their focus is saving lives ― faster.

For the exercise, it’s an active shooter on campus and first responders from the Honolulu Police Department and Honolulu Fire Department carried mock victims from the building into an ambulance.

Their priorities are stopping the killing, stopping the dying and rapid casualty evacuation.

“What we are preaching to our officers now, that second priority of work is stopping the dying which is starting the medicine process,” said HPD Lt. Neil Han.

National figures show it usually takes 3 to 4 minutes before an active shooter suspect kills himself, is barricaded, is shot or arrested.

“That scene theoretically becomes a warm zone if the intel is there is only one suspect,” said Han.

Then the rescue task force can move in.

“Law enforcement exits the building and faces toward the building to protect the medical responders coming out. They group up and protect them going back in,” said HFD Battalion Chief Craig Uchimura.

Inside an undisclosed location in West Oahu, crews worked together to look for the victims and bring them into one area for initial treatment. The victims are categorized according to their condition.

Thanks to a $330,000 Homeland Security grant, HFD now has 300 sets of ballistic protective equipment with Kevlar helmets and vests with front and back plates capable of blunting long gun rounds. EMS has them as well.

“The reaction from the firefighters was mixed,” said Uchimura.

“The thought of having to put on ballistic protection is a little unsettling, but once they realize they are doing it for their own protection and safety, it’s become a lot more accepted.”