MELROSE — As part of an annual public safety exercise, members of the Melrose Police Department participated in active shooter training this week.
From June 17-19, Melrose Police and Fire trained at the Horace Mann Elementary School to refine their tactical and emergency medical skills in the unlikely event that there is an active shooter in the city.
Melrose Firearms Instructors Sgt. David Akell, Officer Levi DiFranza and Officer Robert Mann and Firefighter Brian Moran led the training, which included several hours of interactive classroom learning before officers and firefighters participated in real-life simulations.
After the training exercises were completed, a full review of each scenario was conducted by the instructors. During this period, there was open dialogue with instructors and public safety team members breaking down the events on video and PowerPoint.
“We train to prepare for the unknown and these scenarios were designed as such,” Chief Lyle said. “In the event of an emergency situation like an active shooter, we as first responders will rely heavily on our training, so this year’s scenarios continued to provide repetition, feedback and to build on areas where we can improve.”
During the simulations, a group of Melrose High School and middle school volunteers played victims in a school shooting, with Officer DiFranza leading the scenarios, often taking on the role of the shooter.
In each scenario, once police — the initial team of first responders to enter the building — located the shooter and secured the area, firefighters and EMS headed in to treat the wounded.
“This was a great training for both the police and fire departments to practice how to most effectively work together,” Officer Mann said. “The tactical skills we used in these scenarios are so important for officers to continuously practice so that we will be prepared to keep ourselves and the community safe while saving lives.”