Pittsburgh Public Safety Trains for Active Shooter Situation

Rescue Task Force Among the First in the Country

Joe DeStio
May 23, 2018 - 4:19 pm
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PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – Pittsburgh public safety personnel are some of the first in the country to go through what vis called Rescue Task Force training. Police Sgt. Eric Kroll who helped to develop the program over the past two years says the idea is that victims in active shooter situations need medical help right away. They can’t wait until a school or church or theater is safe.

“They talk about the ‘golden hour.’ That hour that will mean the difference between life or death. Especially if people are shot or stabbed or involved in an explosion. They’re going to be hemorrhaging. They’re going to be bleeding out,” said Kroll.

The typical rescue task force has ten members, four police officers, four firefighters trained as EMT’s and two paramedics. The police set up what is called a ‘warm zone’ even before an active shooter is apprehended or killed. The cops provide protection for the medics as they do their work treating victims.

EMS Division Chief Mark Pinchalk says the training teaches them to work together. “It’s really not different. The medicine is the medicine. The medicine stays the same. It’s adapting the medicine to this tactical environment.”

Pittsburgh is one of the first cities nationally to implement the rescue task force. Sgt. Kroll says about 20 personnel train every Wednesday at AGH Suburban in Bellevue which has provided training space. The training will continue until every week until all 900 police, 700 firefighters, and 400 EMS members have been trained.

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