COTTONWOOD – Planning for the worst-case scenario -- a subject attacking a school, intending to hurt children – will be the focus of a three-day course for regional emergency service responders set in Cottonwood this Friday through Sunday, Nov. 15-17.

The Active Threat Integrated Response Course (ATIRC), sponsored by the Cottonwood Police Department, will involve 43 participants, between fire, EMS (emergency medical service) and law enforcement.

Friday and Saturday training will be at the auxiliary gym on Church Street, and Sunday will have crews at Prairie High School on Keuterville Road.

According to CPD Chief Terry Cochran, Friday will involve classroom work, and Saturday will involve more instruction and walk-through scenarios. Sunday will involve ambulances from Syringa and St. Mary’s ‘responding’ to incidents at the school from a staging area near the school where they will pick up ‘patients,’ which the folks inside have rescued and extricated to the closest exit from the building.

Observers are welcome at any day during the training. Those interested need to check in with coordinators on site.

Apart from an instructor firing a blank gun at Sunday’s training, to provide a touch of realism, Cochran said the event will not involve people shooting inside the school, either with real or simulation weapons.

Participating agencies are as follows: Cottonwood and Grangeville police departments; Lewis, Nezperce, Latah and Boundary county sheriff’s offices; Idaho Fish and Game; St Mary’s Ambulance, Syringa Ambulance, Potlatch, Nezperce and Kamiah EMS; Cottonwood, Elk City, Potlatch and Wheatland fire departments and Grangeville Mountain Rescue Unit, and dispatchers from Idaho and Lewis counties.

ATIRC is a national course, based out of Louisiana, that involves all entities responding to an incident, and actively working together in a ‘warm zone’ type environment, where there may be a second person, to quickly and efficiently rescue injured people from the area.

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