Updated 12/15/2012 01:11 PM
‘ALERRT’ trainer reacts to tragedy in Connecticut
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While the country absorbs the news of another mass shooting, a special group in San Marcos works every day to prepare for such tragedies.
David Burns helped redefine the role of first responders after the Columbine High School shooting of 1999. He is now a trainer for the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, or 'ALERRT.'
"The objective is to put themselves between the shooter and the innocent victims as quickly as possible,” Burns said.
More than 40,000 officers have received training from the ALERRT team at Texas State University, but as Burns explains, all the training in the world can't prepare you for what happened in Connecticut.
"There was a lot of raw emotion taking place in this office several hours ago, you can't process this, why would someone do this, I wish I had the answer to that,” he said.
Burns got a call from colleagues on the East Coast the morning of the shooting. An active shooter scenario he has gone through many times.
"Who's name will be plastered all over the news and the media tonight, how many folks can even name, three victims of the hundreds of victims that have fallen prey to this type of predator," Burns said.
For Burns it is all about stopping a shooter as soon as he starts. While it may sound obvious, it is this change in thinking that is the focus of his training.
Before the Columbine shooting Law Enforcement would secure a perimeter and wait for a specialized unit such as SWAT to arrive, but the national average for a tactical response team is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
For Burns, that means arming those on the front lines.
"We have to prepare to defend ourselves this is not a fire drill this is not a tornado or an earthquake drill this is a mad man who is coming in and if we lay there in the fetal position and allow him to, he will murder us," Burns said.
The next push we will see in law enforcement is the move to Tactical Emergency Casualty Care.
Training police officers to deal with wounded before it is safe for EMTs to enter a scene.