Rockland First-Responders Keep Residents Safe by Training for Active-Shooter Scenario
By Sarah Morgenstern
Evergreen Kosher Market was transformed into a training scene early Monday morning when Rockland first responders practiced their highly-coordinated roles to keep residents safe, in two different active shooter scenarios, chas v’shalom.
Many agencies of Rockland first-responders descended on the supermarket yesterday at 6:30am to conduct a “real-world test to assess the readiness of the Ramapo Police Department (RPD) and the local Emergency Medical Services (EMS),” reported RPD Sergeant Rob Bassett, who coordinated the drills in his role as exercise controller.
Although the exercises went “very well” and “showed the participants that they “are in good shape for emergency scenarios,” Sergeant Bassett said, “we definitely identified a few areas on which we can work.”
Better coordination among all the agencies and additional EMS training for all volunteers and police officers is always needed, Bassett told RocklandDaily.
Early Monday morning, The Spring Valley Ambulance Corps, Chaverim of Rockland, Hatzolah of Rockland County, Spring Hill EMS and William Paul Faist Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and Rockland Paramedic Services received the calls they would receive if active shooters were threatening customers at the Evergreen supermarket at 59 Route 59 in Monsey.
Quickly springing into action, the drills’ participants rushed to the scene, in which first-responders worked to neutralize the active shooters, who were played by two Ramapo police officers who ran around the grocery store shooting victims converted guns that were loaded with blanks.
In the first training scenario, police officers quickly apprehended the shooters, but in the second drill, the shooters took longer to find.
Chaverim members took on the roles of innocent grocery shoppers.
Other police searched for guns among the victims to prevent further injuries, and Hatzoloh and EMS workers, who tended to the wounded, prioritized victims by tagging them with black, yellow, and red labels, reported Shalom Feder, the operational manager for all three Evergreen stores who helped to coordinate the exercises.
Sergeant Bassett, who said the EMS workers and the Hatzolah and Chaverim volunteers “were invaluably helpful,” said that yesterday’s exercises and efforts “can be applied anywhere: to a school or any other large venue.”
Feder agreed that the drills went well and that Rockland would be safe, G-d forbid, in the case of an emergency.