Henrico has a team that trains for disasters like Las Vegas massacre

Posted at 8:02 PM, Oct 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-05 20:46:51-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Members of Henrico County's Incident Management Team said they are alert and ready to respond to any situation. The specialty team was established five years ago to handle large-scale disasters like the recent deadly massacre in Las Vegas.

“Our hearts go out to our brothers in law enforcement and EMS," said Henrico Fire Battalion Chief Jackson Baynard. “We feel their pain. We understand their pain.”

“You certainly don't want to lose anybody, particularly in a very hazardous environment, you want to make sure that everybody is accounted for," said Capt. Hank Smith with the Henrico County Sheriff's Office.

Members of Henrico County's Incident Management Team

Members of Henrico County's Incident Management Team

“We have to ask ourselves are we making it better, safer or more efficient? For the boots on the ground, for the first responders and the job their doing. And we always strive to answer yes to those questions," said Chief Baynard.

Law enforcement officials, along with other county agencies, train together for large-scale incidents through classroom exercises and active shooting scenarios. One interactive drill was held recently at Kings Dominion, and county officials joined other response teams from across the state.

The training comes down to providing resources, setting up massive rescue and support operations, treating and transporting victims all while keeping the public safe.

“We feed a lot of people, we house a lot of people, we move a lot of people and we provide security for a lot of people," Smith said.

“I think that any agency that is not prepared for an event or a long-term event isn’t really preparing the way that they should be,"  Capt. Barker said.  “I think in this particular area, the citizens are safe."

The leadership said there were lessons learned from the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas.

“Always look at being adaptive and looking at the next challenge that lies ahead of us," said Chief Baynard.

“We take their practices. The things that they did and we take what great about it. And we take things that maybe weren’t so great about it and then we put that together and try to plans. We try to create training scenarios," said Capt. Barker.

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