MOUNT VERNON — A new philosophy about handling active shooter situations, aimed at getting victims to help sooner, is gaining acceptance across the country. It came to Knox County Tuesday in the form of a multi-agency exercise staged at Premier Theaters.
Lt. Detective Craig Feeney of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office said one of the big problems in the past has been the speed with which victims can be reached and taken to safety for treatment. Lives can be saved if that time is shortened, he said.
He explained that the new approach starts with dividing the incident location into three zones: Hot, where the shooter is located; Warm, where there is still some danger, and Cold, with little or no danger.
Feeney said Mount Vernon Fire Department came up with the site for the exercise and since there have been shooter situations in theaters, it made for a realistic exercise.
A statement issued by Mount Vernon Fire Chief Chad Christopher said the exercise started at 9 a.m. as the theater granted the use of its space during non-business hours for the training.
He said it was a “multi-agency training to improve on communications and scene operations. The MVFD implemented and improved their rescue task force model. The training exercises improved skills and operational readiness on active killer situations.”