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Dec 18, 2015 7:46 PM

Landrigan: Training exercise simulates active shooter incident

CONCORD - "We’re rehearsing; this is our dress rehearsal," said Emily Martuscello, exercise training officer for the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

"We need to have our script memorized. When a critical incident occurs we are not going to rise to the occasion, we are going to fall back on our training."

First responders from across New Hampshire are using a state-created board game to train on how to deal with an active shooter.

"Critical incident response, incident management and communications," Martuscello says. "We are training them so they can train their people.’’

Here they play out the deadly scenario.

"I have a shooter in the medical records area; I can hear shots coming,’’ says a Lebanon police officer participating in the exercise. "I have p2, 3 and 4 with me," he says using a code to refer to fellow officers. "We are ready to make entry closer to the records area. Copy that.’’

New Hampshire is one of only five states in the last year without a mass shooting.

"These are not incidents they are dealing with every day; these are like once in a career incidents," Martuscello adds.

So the key to make this training appealing expand it beyond just a live shooting event.

"Move it forward for an all hazards approach, you could do it for a hurricane, you could do it for a tornado, not just for an active shooter so that all hazards approach, good bang for the buck," says Perry Plummer, director of the Homeland Security agency.

The chances of a terrorism event in New Hampshire? Very small.

The chances of a hazard that would require this kind of emergency training? Very high.

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