July 24, 2016

Intermittent clouds

First responders, educators put skills to test in mock shooting

MEDINA — Day 1 was in the classroom. Day 2 was the real-world scenario.

Local police, firefighters and school staff members got a chance to put their newly acquired knowledge of emergency medical care to the test Thursday at the Medina Performing Arts Center at Medina High School.

Andy Brenner, left, an associate principal at Medina High School, and Medina police Officer Cliff Nicholson practice stabilizing a shooting victim during an exercise Thursday at the high school’s Medina Performing Arts Center. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY STEVE GRAZIER)

The challenge was to demonstrate their skills during a drill simulating a mass shooting inside the theater.

“This has brought a worst-case scenario to life,” said Andy Brenner, an associate principal at the high school. “It’s given me some good insight on how to better help the kids.”

The training course, Tactical Casualty Combat Care, was developed by the U.S. military so service members can care for the injured during combat when medics aren’t available.

“Everyone’s grasped the concept real well,” said Brian Cavanaugh, a course instructor and paramedic with the Medina Life Support Team. “They’ve taken it very serious.”

The first day of the two-day course was Wednesday at the Montville Township Safety Services Center.

The Medina Life Support Team from Medina Hospital provided instruction to more than 20 first responders from the Medina County Sheriff’s Office and police departments in Medina, and Medina and Montville townships. Also in the class were staff members from Medina High School and St. Francis Xavier School.

During Thursday’s drill, trainees worked in pairs to control bleeding of shooting victims.

Medina Township police Officer Cliff Nicholson said the teamwork aspect of the training was important.

“It helps working with other officers and departments in Medina County,” he said. “We’re on the same line and can walk it together.”

Contact reporter Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or sgrazier@medina-gazette.com.