How Local Police and Fire Agencies Respond to an Active Shooter - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

How Local Police and Fire Agencies Respond to an Active Shooter

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First responders train year-round to be ready for active-shooter situations. And while police do have a mental checklist of how to counteract the shooter, there's no specific protocol officers must follow since every active shooter situation is different and can change at a moment’s notice.

For the Reno Police Department, the goal is to secure the scene and save lives as quickly as they can. So on Tuesday night, when the threat of an active shooter became very real in Downtown Reno, the department dispatched as many officers as they could from all responding areas.

"We have members of the Reno Police Department S.W.A.T team working cooperatively with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office,” said Officer Tim Broadway. "We train regularly with our regional partners and as an agency to respond to situations like this."

Once officers arrive to an active shooter incident their first priority is to get civilians to a safe area. They then get victims to firefighters for medical assistance. Fortunately on Tuesday there were no casualties other than the suspect.

"If that incident had grown, of course, our involvement and our commitment would have grown with it, but there was limited exposure in terms of injury to citizens,” said Chief Dave Cochran with the Reno Fire Department.

Officers then work to secure the scene as quickly as they can. Deputy Chief Tom Robinson says saving lives is the top priority, even if it means matching force on force with the suspect.

"How to counter act the shooter without giving up tactics we look for positions of advantage, we start thinking about confronting the suspect,” said Robinson.

Since the shooter was stopped before he could hurt anyone, the fire department played a minimal role Tuesday night. However, their engines remained on scene Wednesday morning to help with the investigation and they'll always remain on standby, if and when their services are needed.

"We try to work hand and hand as much as possible so that we're familiar with each other’s tactics and strategies and if they need us we'll come and of course if we need them, we don't hesitate to call them as well,” said Cochran.

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