Kootenai County practices new active-shooter response

First responders prepared for a real-life active shooter in Kootenai County Wednesday.

In such a situation, seconds matter and finding the shooter is an utmost priority.

But now, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, with the help of Northern Lakes Fire District, has a new way of responding.

"We are incorporating our local EMS personnel to get closer to the scene and situation where they respond with law enforcement so that they can treat casualties more quickly,” Detective Dennis Stinebaugh said.

Firefighters in bulletproof vests and helmets rush alongside deputies.

The groups run the gauntlet of various scenarios, for example, one of two shooters are still on the loose.

While deputies can engage the target, EMS crews can help begin treating victims.

The shooter would be taken down and that’s when EMS can start treating and transporting victims.

Deputies say these practice runs are critical in case of a real situation.

“Even though we live in north Idaho and it doesn't seem likely,” Detective Stinebaugh said, “the sheriff's office we take it very seriously and we train for active shooter situations both inside buildings and out in open spaces."

(story: Adam Mayer, KHQ Local News Reporter; photo: KHQ.com)

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