GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Pitt County emergency responders are preparing to better protect people in a tragedy.
The county’s Emergency Management just received a $10,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security to train for an active mass shooting.
Law enforcement officers get regular training on active shooters in schools. This grant, however, will integrate all emergency responders. County emergency management, Greenville Fire-Rescue, Greenville Police, the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, Fire-Rescue and Law Enforcement Associations, ECU Police, Vidant Police, and more have already signed on.
Pitt County EMS Medical Director Dr. Roberto Portela says the goal is to test how each agency would respond and interact with one another.
“How our communications are, identifying how we set up our multi-agency command post, and how we can give orders and instructions down to everybody playing a part in that event,” Dr. Portela said.
The first step of training will be a walk-through meeting to discuss what would happen on a particular day in a particular area. They’ll eventually do an active simulation to practice.
“It’s the single event that brings all agencies involved in Pitt County together. Not just fire, not just EMS, it includes the hospital, police, emergency management, public safety, everybody gets involved,” Dr. Portela said.
The Greenville Police Department is also prepping on its own, requesting to use nearly $375,000 on an active shooter response kit. That would include a semi-automatic rifle and tactical ballistic helmet and vests with plate armor for each officer. They’re also requesting an armored vehicle to access areas that other emergency response vehicles cannot.