In the aftermath of the shooting in a Colorado theater that left 12 dead and 58 wounded, first responders across the country are training to make sure they're ready for such an event. Officials at the St. Louis Area Regional Response System (STARRS) say SWAT teams and first responders have been increasing their training in the 10 days since the tragedy, CBS affiliate KMOX reports.
Known as active shooter response, the training program can trace its roots back to the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School. Experts say SWAT teams focus on several areas. Primarily, responders place an emphasis on restraint when approaching a situation. Doing so can prevent any further casualties. Additionally, active shooter response changes the role of medical personnel.
"In the past, before these types of incidents had been occurring, law enforcement officials would tell the paramedics 'Wait until we clear this building,'" Nick Gragnani, executive director of STARRS. "Now the teaching is "You go with us. As we clear sections of the building you take care of those that we come upon.'"
First responders across the country can take a few pointers from those at the Colorado shooting. In fact, Congress recently passed a resolution formally honoring the quick response of emergency personnel, The Associated Press reports.