Gorham (WGME) — As tragedy unfolds after a school shooting in Texas, police and first responders in Maine are practicing how to respond to one here.
“Obviously it’s very crucial with what’s going on nationally with active shooter incidents,” said Gorham Deputy Chief, Chris Sanborn, who also serves as the regional training coordinator for Cumberland County.
Sanborn said about 90 officers from Cumberland and York Counties are taking part in the two-day active shooter training that began on Friday.
“The focus of this particular training is actually introducing emergency medical services into what we’re calling ‘the warm zone,'” said Sanborn. “Which is actually bringing them into the actual interior of a building. like a school.”
The goal is to save more lives, said Regan Gowan, a commander at the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, who oversees emergency services.
“There’s a push to make sure we get our EMS folks trained and working with us, because even though we’re getting in and maybe stopping the threat, we haven’t been dealing with the medical trauma quickly enough,” said Gowan.
On Saturday morning, participants will get to apply what they’ve learned in a full-scale, hands-on active shooter drill at Gorham High School. Sanborn said 90 students and 90 volunteers will be role playing to help provide the most realistic situation possible.
“We know as an agency, even as large as our agency is, we’re not going to be able to do it by ourselves,” said Gowan. “So the day of is not the time to plan. It’s well in advance.”
Because they also know while it was Florida in February and Texas today, it can just as easily happen at home.
“It can happen anywhere,” said Sanborn. “If it can happen in Newtown, Connecticut, it can happen in Gorham, Maine.”