IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

‘Video Games’ Help First Responders Prepare for Active Shooters

The training consists of 10 virtual active shooting scenarios in environments like airports, schools and courthouses, meant to better prepare emergency crews for a variety of situations through a video game engine.

City of Killeen, Texas, emergency management, police, and fire departments participate in an active shooter training.
Image courtesy of C3 Pathways (via Twitter)
(TNS) — At a quick glance, one would see law enforcement, the fire department and emergency management all gathered together playing video games.

In reality, it's a behind-the-scenes look into an Active Shooter Incident Management training (ASIM) put on by C3 Pathways. Emergency crews like the Mitchell Police Department traveled from across South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska to take part in the three-day training event.

While the active shooter hoax call that sent law enforcement to Mitchell High School on Oct. 13 was a great excuse to particpate in the ASIM training, the Mitchell Police Department planned to do the training with C3 Pathways for months prior.

"By that point the this training was already set." said Mitchell Chief of Police Michael Koster.

Traditional active shooter training is traditionally taught by learning how to enter a building and clear rooms, but doesn't clarify what to do after the threat has been eliminated. This is where Godfrey believes a lot of other active-shooter training programs fall short.

"What happens after you've stopped the threat is just as important as getting the threat stopped," is William Godfrey's mantra, a C3 Pathway instructor.

Forming in 2004, C3 Pathways is a Florida-based critical incident management responders program, primarily focused on active shooter emergencies. C3 travels the country training law enforcement and other first responders on how to manage active shooter situations, from the quickest ways to save lives to how to handle media coverage.

The ASIM training consists of 10 different virtual active shooting scenarios in environments like airports, schools, courthouses and more, meant to better prepare emergency crews for a variety of situations — all through the use of a video game engine.

According to Godfrey, performing these types of situations within a gaming engine allows for the training to be much more manageable. It also avoids the need to take equipment out of service or use two to three hundred volunteers to act as role players during a simulation.

"If people have ever seen kids play Call of Duty, this is like a whole room full of people playing that, but really it's a tool," Godfrey explained. "It allows these responders to see what they are seeing, making it more immersive and help them understand their surroundings."

The training took place at the Davison County Fairgrounds activity hall Monday, Oct. 17, through Wednesday, Oct. 19.

©2022 The Daily Republic, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.