Combat Center Slated to Exercise Active Shooter Scenario
Story by PFC Shane Beaubien on 07/19/2019
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. -The shots got louder and louder, closer to me as people were getting hit. It was a mini war zone but I couldn’t fight back. After taking cover, I saw a field white utility trucks. I tested my luck to see if any of them had keys in it. The first one I tried opening up had keys sitting in plain sight. I started looking for people to take to the hospital. There were just too many people and it was overwhelming how much blood was everywhere.
Honorably discharged U.S. Marine Taylor Winston managed to save 20 to 30 lives during the Las Vegas massacre by stealing a utility truck and making two trips transporting victims to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center.
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms is slated to exercise its active shooter response and recovery plan at 8 a.m., July 25, 2019 at the Adult Medical Care Center, Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms. The exercise is being modeled after past active shooter events to include the Las Vegas Massacre, the Pulse Nightclub, Virginia Tech, and the Washington Naval Shipyard.
The purpose of this exercise is to better prepare emergency services to react appropriately and effectively should an active shooter threat occur.
During the exercise, first responders and receivers will establish unified command, base wide notification, exercise lockdown procedures, neutralize threat, triage and process casualties, and evaluate the overall performance of the exercise.
The FBI defines an active shooter as “an individual actively engaged in killing, or attempting to kill people in a populated area.” Shootings are often premeditated and unpredictable, and often don’t stop until the shooter is stopped or takes his/her own life.
In case an active shooter event should occur, bystander’s first action should be to run far away from the shooter to a safe location. The next course of action should be to hide and barricade yourselves with any means available. Be sure to lock all doors, turn off all lights, avoid other means of detection and dial 9-1-1. Provide law enforcement with any crucial information: your location, the shooter’s location, and the shooter’s description.
When law enforcement arrives, obey any commands so the threat can be neutralized as quickly as possible. Do not expect the first team to offer assistance, police officers first mission is to stop the shooting, then render first aid.
If at all possible, assist in applying first aid and transporting wounded to proper medical facilities. Even an improvised tourniquet can save a life.
In order for MCAGCC to accomplish its mission to ensure the readiness of the tenant and resident commands aboard the combat center, it must prepare for, respond to, and recover from potential hazards associated with the installation. The exercise will offer participants an opportunity to practice and improve their emergency response actions as related to an active shooter event.