Green Bay first responders train for mass shootings as a team effort

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - 2018 has been another violent and deadly year of shootings.

From the shooting at a Florida High School to a country bar in California, from a synagogue in Pennsylvania to a software company in Middleton.

Dozens and dozens have died in mass shootings and many others wounded.

It's clear preparing how to respond and treat the critically wounded is increasingly important.

A partnership between the Green Bay Police and Green Bay Metro Fire departments aims to help first responders save lives.

The call comes in: Shots fired. There are victims.

In first-of-its-kind training with Green Bay police officers, firefighters and paramedics, crews work together, figuring out the role each will have with one goal in mind.

"The concept for us is, number one, we have to stop the killing. Once we do that, then we have to stop the dying," Police Commander Paul Ebel said.

In the first drill, officers pull double duty, both securing the scene and tending to the wounded.

Then comes training to respond as teams.

"The trauma hour thing," Fire Battalion Chief Mike Vanden Avond explained, "when it's dealing with gunshots, it's even less than that, so the sooner we can stop the bleeding, help the airway, anything like that, the better chances they have."

Several years ago, law enforcement across Brown County trained together and learned how police would respond to a shooter.

Earlier this year, Officer Jon Nejedlo was tasked with creating a new plan based on police and fire responses from recent mass casualties.

"So we've developed training, gone to training, brought things back," the training officer said. "Some of the training that we got back in June, some of the terminology and concepts have changed already, so yes, it's constantly evolving and constantly changing, and we're adapting to those changes."

Tuesday marked the first of months of upcoming training, but already the emergency responders saw the benefit of working as one.

"We can help them and they can help us. A lot of times you get tunnel vision and zone in on something while the person either bleeds or can't breathe. We can help the officers notice those things and better help the person," Vanden Avond said.

Both agencies hope to have every member of the departments trained by spring.

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