Active shooter training changing the new normal in Cambridge

By: Blair Miller

Updated:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - With gunfire and shouting, it looks and sounds as real as it gets.

The training is eerily familiar to the real tragedies we've seen across the country.

“It definitely has a new sense of urgency to it.  We all feel as if it's just a matter of time until it comes to our area,” Cambridge Fire Captain James Gomes told Boston 25 News. 

In this case, Cambridge Fire, Police and Rescue are working together, responding to an active shooter.

This used to be something for law enforcement to focus on. Now, it's imperative for firefighters and paramedics to equally be involved -- many of them also suiting up in swat gear.

“It's becoming more and more important for these three disciplines to work together,” instructor Jerry Flood explained. 

But how they respond to these types of situations is changing too. The approach used to be waiting to see how the shooter responds.

Now, they say, there's no time to wait. 

“Now they've realized that time is of the essence and we have to sometimes make somewhat risky entry,” said Cambridge Fire Chief Gerard Mahoney. 

The entry is just one part of what they focused on in the training. They also need to get rescuers to the victims as soon as possible, even if an active shooter hasn't been stopped.

“These are becoming part of our responsibilities,” said Chief Mahoney. 

It’s a responsibility that is far from the days of just responding to the call for help.

It's now about anticipating it.

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