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McKinney Fire Department participates in mass casualty training

Firefighters and EMS personnel spent three days this week going through realistic scenarios

MCKINNEY, Texas — First responders ran through mass casualty training scenarios at the Collin College Public Safety Training Center in McKinney

Firefighters and EMS personnel spent three days this week going through realistic scenarios that include active shooters, building collapse and hazardous materials.

"This training is designed to allow first responders and healthcare workers to experience the chaos and stress of large-scale incidents while working together to discover ways to improve the response in the future," read a statement from McKinney Fire.

"This is so much better than lecturing in the hall or reading a paper," said Keegan Bradley, McKinney Fire Medical Director.

In the scenario, there were close to 30 volunteers who played victims. Most of those volunteers are EMS students. Jackie Langford with Health Sciences and Emergency Services for Collin College was the simulation director in charge of putting prosthetics on the victims. The silicone prosthetics mixed with fake blood help create that near-real-life scenario.

"We wanna make sure everything looks as real as possible," said one volunteer, who helped apply the prosthetics.

This week's training is about helping prepare firefighters and EMS to respond in a mass triage situation. 

The recurring number of active-shooter scenarios has forced first responders and schools to step up their response. In an active shooter situation, while law enforcement works to stop the killing, firefighters and EMS are tasked with stopping the dying.

The choices made and actions taken by first responders can decide, "who lives, who dies, and what resource do we have to help as many as we can," said Bradley.

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