Local first responders prepared for major emergency

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – Emergency personnel are first on scene at tragedies like Las Vegas.

It’s the kind of response Upstate officials say they’re prepared to handle.

These officials say incidents like the Las Vegas shooting highlight why first responders prepare for these scenarios.

Calls for help because of an active shooter are ones first responders never want to hear but are prepared to answer.

“It’s disheartening,” said Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Ryan Flood. “In hopes that it will never happen here but in times that it does, hoping that their response will be as quick and efficient to minimize the amount of damage one of these can cause.”

For the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office that training includes active shooter scenarios, meant to mimic what’s become a reality in Las Vegas.

“Our special response teams – our SWAT teams for example – they train daily for catastrophic events such as this.” said Sgt. Flood. “They’re more hands on where your heart rate is elevated. We do various training scenarios. We’ve done some with the Greenville Hospital System.”

GHS has one of two level one trauma centers in the Upstate. The other is at the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.

“It’s important particularly for our region because we have two that are so close together. We’ve seen and used each other’s services in the midst of disasters,” said Jeff Straub, SRHS Assistant Safety Officer & Emergency Manager. “It allows for any trauma to be taken care of in our community.”

Straub says an event like Vegas would likely mean both trauma centers taking patients, so that’s where training comes in.

“We provide a mass casualty incident exercise at least annually so our staff understands how that environment looks,” he said. “Typically when you deal with traumatic events, the first hour is most precious in the preservation of that life so it’s important we make sure we have great notification processes – people know their role, know their job and to do that in a moment’s notice.”