The Main Stream

Sep 16, 2013 7:57 PM by Nathan O'Neal

How prepared is Tucson for a mass casualty incident?

TUCSON - While all eyes are on the nation's capitol and the horrific mass shooting that took place Monday morning, it serves as a reminder for Tucson's first responders who have to continuously train to make sure they're prepared.

Although tragedy is unfolding across the country, this most recent mass shooting is a reminder of a not-too-distant past for Tucsonans - of when a gunman shot and killed six people and wounded 13 others at a grocery store in January 2011. So how prepared are Tucson's first responders?

Following the shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, Tucson's first responders decided to take another look at how they might deal with a similar situation.

Along with active shooter training for officers, the Officer of Emergency Management and Homeland Security came up with new plans that could help save lives.

"The City of Tucson is in the process actually - all of its city employees are being trained for what to do in the event of an active shooter in the workplace," said Capt. Kris Blume of the Tucson Fire Department. "That's all uniformed and civilian employees as well."

Mass Casualty Incident kits are circulated throughout Tucson Police Departments and are critical for officers in providing potentially life-saving care at a dangerous scene where it's still unsafe to send in EMTs and fire department personnel.

"It helps out the fire department, it helps out the police department... the hospitals and ultimately that helps out the community," Blume told News 4 Tucson.

The MCI kits were originally made possible by a federal grant but that has since been de-funded while they currently look at alternative ways to improve their programs.

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