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The training was the largest of its kind in Hennepin County and the first to involve both police and fire units working together in triage rescue teams in response to these types of incidents.

"When we build on consistency, it doesn't matter who comes in what city, all the tactics are the same," Morrow said.

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City Center.

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As mass casualty shootings continue to happen across the nation, southwest metro law enforcement agencies are taking a different approach in response one that they hope will save more lives.

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More than 250 firefighters, emergency medical technicians and police officers from Eden Prairie, Edina, Richfield, Hopkins, Minnetonka, St. Robinson space in the Eden Prairie Nike Lebron 14 Black And White

Each fire department is now equipped with a mass casualty response kit, similar to the kits police departments already have.

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firefighters and EMTs to enter once the premises is secure. This approach will allow the firefighters to treat the victims and get them away from the scene, while the police focus on finding the shooter.

"We're partnering with cities to provide a regional response to mass causalities," said Eden Prairie Police Lt. Jim Morrow. "It makes sense, because every mass casualty incident has been regional."

fire departments partner for active shooter training

This southwest regional partnership is set to expand to the northern suburbs in 2015, according to Morrow.

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Firefighters practice their response during a mass casualty situation.

Police officers stand watch for an active shooter while firefighters help a victim during training.

The new response involves both police and fire units entering the scene together versus police first securing the scene Nike Lebron Blue and then allowing Nike Metcon Gum Sole

"In the past, fire wouldn't come into an active shooter situation," Morrow said. "Now we are working with fire to come into the area while the scene is still active."

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A change in the approach to these situations stemmed from a discussion amongst the Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Edina and Hopkins police chiefs, who developed a manual offering consistency of training amongst agencies. The agencies all follow the same response: enter, evaluate, evacuate, tactics, training and teamwork.

Police officers and firefighters from throughout the southwest metro Nike Zoom Generation 1

underwent new active shooter and mass casualty training, which involves both police and fire units responding to the scene as a team, June 16 19 at the Eden Prairie City Center. (Sun Current staff photos by Natalie Conrad)

The June training focused on the role of the firefighters with help from the police. Another training more focused on the police role will be held in the fall.

The old approach often costs lives due to the slow response time to reach the victims. The delay not only allows the victim or victims' medical conditions to worsen, but also leaves them in a dangerous situation longer.

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