Huntsville Police identify fallen veteran officer

Tactical combat course preps for active shooter emergencies

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TRINITY, Ala. (WHNT) - It almost seems like a video game, an open field and guns, with no real bullets or danger.

But recent violence worldwide makes more aggressive training a necessity, especially for emergency responders.

With the help of some gory effects, Priority Medical Training brought military proven training pushing students to help victims.

"We have a large multi-story training tower from the Trinity Volunteer Fire Department," said Richard Wilkinson, CEO of the training company. "We smoke it, added sound, we've added smell."

Teams of students, equipped with fake weapons, ventured into the pitch black tower seeking out victims and shooters.

Among the students were two trauma surgeons.

"It changes how we look at the folks that take care of our patients before they get to us," said Dr. Rony Najjar, chief of trauma at Huntsville Hospital.

"When you add the sound, smell, smoke, the people, it helps more closely simulate real life," said Dr. Farin Smith, trauma surgeon and part of Madison County SWAT team medical personnel.

"All the active shooters we run into, when we read about the reviews after, is that their senses are overwhelmed," said Wilkinson.

Instructors intentionally stressed the students, making easy tasks much harder.

Students also participated in a larger-scale active shooter drill with multiple patients, and the goal of the two-day course was to learn to render aid without getting hurt.

While this course was aimed at first responders, Priority Medical Training also has a one-day course for law enforcement as well as a 2.5-hour course for non-medically inclined people wanting to learn more about medical aid in emergency situations.

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