More than 50 members of the Essex Police Department and Essex Rescue spent Saturday preparing for the worst by coming together for tactical training at Thomas Fleming School.
“It’s being better prepared to handle something in our town,” said Capt. Ron Hoague of the Essex Police Department. “That’s the important part, being able to handle an event here in Essex.”
First responders practiced various scenarios where they’ll work side by side in the height of an active situation like a shooting, bombing, or other emergency. The Rescue Task Force training allows EMS to respond before a scene is completely cleared by police, so they can reach victims faster.
“This is a pretty big change for us, both from the equipment side of things but also from a care perspective,” said Colleen Nesto, Deputy Executive Director of Essex Rescue. “We’ve always been trained to not go in until things are secure and safe, this is a very different role.”
EMS is required to wear protective gear including bulletproof vests and helmets when they respond, relying on direction from police on how to react during a possible dangerous situation.
“We’re able to test the communication between medical personnel and police,” Capt. Hoague said. “Our police personnel are looking out for their safety, their job 100% at that point is the safety of the team.”