BCSO holds annual active shooter training

BCSO holds annual active shooter training

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Following the Parkland school shooting, and now the Uvalde, Texas school shooting, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office is making sure its deputies are ready for situations they’ll hopefully never be confronted with.

“You hear gunshots? You’re going in that room,” Bay County Sheriff’s Lieutenant James Vestal said.

But running into the face of danger is what Bay County Sheriff’s officials are trained to do.

“We train to go to that gunfire. Once we lose where that gunfire is at, or we lose the person, we go and search for it until we hear it or see it again,” said Vestal.

That’s why for the past 10 years, Sheriff Tommy Ford said they’ve participated in an annual Active Shooter Incident Management training, known as “ASIM.”

“Where we taught them how to manage one of these incidents,” said Ford.

For the past three years, Ford said they’ve invited other local law enforcement agencies, fire, and EMS to complete the ASIM training with them.

“Where we’re all talking the same language as far as who’s got command of the situation, what everyone’s different role is as far as being a tactical response team, or being on the rescue task force, going to a staging area and what the means, managing a staging area,” said Ford.

A generic active shooter situation audio played Tuesday allows them to hear how to effectively manage one of these situations.

“Possible active shooter, white male, 15 to 17 years of age, black jacket, dark jeans, armed with a large handgun.”

Ford said there are lessons for law enforcement to learn each time a mass shooting happens.

“We’ll be learning a lot of lessons from the Uvalde situation and shame on us if we don’t take those lessons and put them into practice,” said Ford.

Practice that the sheriff’s office and other agencies are making a top priority every year to keep your kids safe.

“We all have the same mission and mind to protect our kids. We continually train for these types of situations, we work together on these types of situations, and I feel like we’re in a good place with that as far as some of the things that we’ve implemented,” said Ford.

Ford said they’ll follow this class up next month with a tactical active shooter training at Arnold High School. There, they’ll use simunition weapons and put the deputies in realistic scenarios, while integrating the active shooter management training taught Tuesday.

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