LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Emergency crews across Las Vegas knew exactly how to handle an active shooter because they did it before on October 1, 2017. After 60 people were killed, departments across Clark County studied what could have been done differently. Departments developed specific protocol and training in the years following what would become the deadliest mass shooting in the country.
“What I think was most amazing to me was there was seamless integration regardless of what kind of uniform you were wearing, there was zero hesitation and they just executed unbelievably well,” said Sheriff Kevin McMahill of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. He credited that to the joint training conducted across multiple jurisdictions including LVMPD, Clark County Fire, Community Ambulance, and other departments.
When the first call of shots fired came in, crews immediately deployed a mass response plan they trained for. “Immediately we want to have a unified command as quickly as possible,” said Clark County Fire Chief John Steinbeck. A rescue task force is assembled made up of law enforcement and medical providers. “National average is something like 45 minutes most of the time, they were up and rolling in 10 minutes,” said Steinbeck.
First responders also created an emergency corridor for themselves just in case there was a mass casualty event. The I-15 shut down for hours to keep a clear path from UNLV off Tropicana Avenue and Maryland Parkway, just in case they needed to rush numerous people to nearby regional hospitals including UMC Medical Center, which is located near I-15 and Charleston Boulevard.
“We also learned that recovery starts before the incident begins. While we had responders there trying to neutralize the subject, trying to take care those that are injured, and do everything else appropriate, there’s others that are back working on the recovery side,” said Steinbeck.
That recovery came about in the form of a reunification center set up for students and families to come together. It also acts as a resource center providing mental health services. “Before, we did not have plans that were in place for victim services, no community really does. Myself, the Sheriff, and others, we’ve gone across the nation since that incident 6 years ago, teaching that you have to have these resources in play. Well, now we had them in play they’re ready to go and they’re ongoing. Last time, we were building them as we were going and responding,” said Steinbeck.
The fire chief also pointed to the importance of having control of information center. Clark County previously set up a joint information center with emergency agencies represented. Steinbeck noted the efficiency of that center. “Not only can we control and understand the information but that information necessary back to us as were making direct operational decision and recovery decisions,” said Steinbeck.
Copyright 2023 KVVU. All rights reserved.