Tempe fire crews train for active shooter calls

Posted at 6:46 PM, Dec 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-14 20:46:40-05

Tempe firefighters are being trained to provide organized responses to active shooter calls, the city says.

Fire crews have partnered with Tempe police wearing new protective gear to enter active crime scenes to treat and evaluate victims.

"The faster we can get on scene and the faster we can make contact with patients and get them extricated from that scenario the better off they'll be in the end," Tempe firefighter Drew Ashcraft said.

Police officers would then be able to focus on containing or neutralizing threats, the city said.

"Our first job is to find the shooter and take him out, but what we have to do is walk over, run over and pass men, women and children who are hurt begging for help," Tempe Police Department Lt. Michael Pooley said.

Before this change, firefighters waited at a distance from active crime scenes until police deemed the scene safe.

"They're gunshot and stab proof so it will help us stay protected while we're working on our patients," Ashcraft said.

"They're coming in side by side with us, we're going to protect them and they're going to do their job and save people's lives," Pooley said.

According to the city, Tempe’s training follows in the footsteps of the International Association of Firefighters, the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the U.S. Fire Administration’s best practices.