A line of five officers, guns drawn, make their way to an open door.
One of their own is in the house somewhere — injured.
As they get closer, they see the officer on the ground.
“Hey Del, how ya doing?” an officer asks.
“I’m shot,” he answers.
As the team gets to the injured officer, a man at the doorway starts shooting.
They drag the injured officer out while two members of the team keeps\ their guns aimed at the doorway, knowing the suspect has retreated inside.
Some members of the team put a tourniquet on the injured officer’s leg as others debate how to handle the gunman in the house.
The scenario was part of a one-day training in tactical gunshot wound management last week at a warehouse at T Avenue and 30th Street. About 35 people from various area agencies participated. It taught law enforcement officers how to respond to an injured officer, bring him into a safer environment and offer life-saving treatment — all while watching for any additional threat and potentially reacting.
“This is important training. It’s required for Anacortes Police Department officers. They could use it to save their life or someone else’s at any time,” said Anacortes Police Capt. Grant Lightfoot.
Representatives from Anacortes, Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley police departments, Anacortes Fire Department, the Washington State Patrol and the Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan county sheriff’s offices practiced their skills in different scenarios at the training.
One scenario had officers assessing a shot officer, providing aid and keeping an eye out for the shooter. It teaches the best way to multitask in a heated situation.
“There’s a whole lot going on at the same time,” Lightfoot said. “That’s the most important one for us.”
In another scenario, groups of five officers are tasked with getting into a house with an active shooter, finding a wounded officer and getting him out.
“You need to prepare a response to go in there and grab him,” Lightfoot told the group before shutting off the lights.
The training let Anacortes Fire Department personnel learn some of the law enforcement lingo and understand the process. They know what first aid equipment officers carry and how body armor works.
The training took place using a two-story prop set up by the Anacortes Fire Department in a warehouse donated for temporary use by Bill Wooding. Lightfoot said without the space, officers would have had to travel to a training or hold it outside.
At the end of the day, officers said they came away with some good information. One officer noted medics are usually close behind officers at a critical event — but that short amount of time matters.
“That minute might mean the difference,” she said.
Each participant left the training with an individual first aid kit. They’re meant for officers to wear for use on themselves in case of an injury. All contain the same equipment: shears, a CPR face mask, gloves, a tourniquet, trauma dressing, tape and an airway tube.
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