PHOENIX - Phoenix Police and Phoenix Fire officials conducted an active shooter training in Downtown Phoenix Tuesday.
The agencies are working together and simulating an incident with actors, treating it as if it were a real emergency. Any time there is an emergency, it comes down to minutes and seconds for a response from police officers and fire crews, and this was what the active shooter training was all about: making it so those response times get shorter, and an intruder can be stopped as quickly as possible.
"Protecting lives and securing the property is on the mind of every first responder when they are going into this," said Sgt. Vince Lewis with the Phoenix Police Department.
During the active shooter simulation, they addressed the threat of an intruder and treating the wounded.
"Getting the reps in is what is going to make our response that much quicker," said Sgt. Lewis.
During the simulation, Phoenix fire crews were also on scene, but they have different exercises than police because they are focusing on medical assistance, and learning how to communicate with the other agencies to make sure it is safe for them to proceed.
"Communication is so important," said Phoenix Fire Captain Kenny Overton. "One of the main things we will practice is how we talk to PD. What info do we get from the law enforcement side."
Trained actors were there as the victims and active shooter. The Herberger employees and staff also received training on the "run, hide and fight" techniques, making it so they are prepared to help their employees and guest, in the case of an emergency.
"It is interesting because in a lot of ways, this is a rehearsal for a performance, but it is a performance we never ever want it to happen here," said Mark Mettes, President of Herberger Theater.
The training started at 8:00 a.m., and will go until 8:00 p.m., so there will be traffic restrictions on Monroe, as emergency vehicles come and go.