Local police, fire, and paramedics trained for an Active Shooter Incident over the weekend, Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers explained before the exercise at Miller Junior High School in Aberdeen “You’re going to see the evaluators combing around, you’re going to see them making notes, you’re going to see the officers doing stuff. We’ve intentionally created a situation to raise the stress level for officers. Today we introduced simunitions.”
Simunitions are a non-lethal paintball-style round that fires from their existing weapon, and yes they hurt if you get hit, and yes a couple officers were hit by the rounds during training Saturday.
Myers said response to an Active Shooter Incident has changed over the years, because typically the shooter in these cases doesn’t take hostages, or negotiate with police, and paramedics have to make tough choices in the field; “EMS is used to getting in there and taking care of the patient – doing everything possible. When you get involved in here you’re going to find out today that EMS doesn’t have time for that, it’s not going to happen. They have to change their hats from EMS to Triage mode.”
Police, Fire, and Volunteer agencies from Hoquiam, Aberdeen, and Cosmopolis, along with the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department and Fire District 2 participated in the training that had been planned for months.