Canby Police & Fire practice school shooter response

Crews debut new techniques to combat an active shooter

Canby Police and Fire practiced their active shooter response at Canby High School. June 22, 2016 (KOIN)

CANBY, Ore. (KOIN) — The Canby School District, Fire Department and Police Department practiced their response to an active shooter situation Wednesday at Canby High School.

The drill was designed to test the ability of police and fire crews to work together during an emergency.

Canby Assistant Fire Chief Todd Gary says traditionally fire crews wait until police clear a scene before they enter, but in a high threat response, fire crews will now move in as soon as the shooter is isolated.

“(Police) establish a hot zone and a warm zone,” Gary said, referring to where the shooter was, and were victims were, respectively. “The fire department’s going to go into that warm zone.”

KOIN 6 was allowed up to the school door as Canby police practiced new response tactics, most of which they didn’t want the public to see. Authorities are hoping the techniques can be kept secret to keep potential future shooters from learning about the police response.

After studying the responses to previous active shooter situations, Canby police and fire have enacted new responses to streamline effectiveness. Instead of parking as close to the entrance as possible, police and fire vehicles now park at a safe distance hundreds of feet away in order to leave space for ambulances when victims can be taken from the scene.

The Canby School District is also working on communicating information to parents in an emergency as efficiently as possible.

“Unfortunately, this is a reality sometimes,” said Canby School District communications coordinator Autumn Foster. “We’re doing everything that we can to stay ahead of it and make sure that we’re prepared.”

“Hopefully that day never comes,” Gary said. “But if it does, we’re ready.”

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