Red Deer, Alberta – Red Deer RCMP and Red Deer Emergency Services took part in an intensive three-day training exercise May 10 through 12 at the old military base in Springbrook as part of the RCMP Immediate Action Rapid Deployment (IARD) training, and were joined one of those days by principals and staff from Red Deer Public School Division and Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.
The IARD training involved approximately 30 RCMP officers, 20 Emergency Services staff and ten representatives from the public and Catholic school boards, and used indoor and outdoor scenarios at the old military base in Springbrook and at Westerner Park. The training exercise focused on multiple aspects of dealing with an active assailant.
“This is crucial training for RCMP – IARD is about putting police into various situations where they are required to take immediate action to draw engagement away from civilians. They are taught to respond fast and to deal with challenges like equipment malfunctions, visual barriers or surprise attackers, and every action is always moving toward the ideal outcome of no injuries,” says Staff Sergeant Jeff McBeth of the Red Deer RCMP. “It was important to have our partners at Emergency Services and the school boards take part in the training because it’s vital in any emergency situation for all the key players to understand their roles and have good communication and trust.”
“Although we never wish for an event like this to occur, it is our responsibility to train and be prepared. Any time we can train with our partners in Protective Services we all benefit,” says Chief Ken McMullen of Red Deer Emergency Services. “This training showcased the collaboration that is required during complex events. We thank the RCMP as well as the school boards for the opportunity to work with them and we look forward to many more opportunities.”
Bruce Buruma, Director of Community Relations for the Red Deer Public Schools, notes: “Emergency preparedness is an essential element for safe and caring schools. By working closely together with first responders, we can most effectively respond to a wide range of situations in order to best take care of our school communities. While we prepare for a variety of situations through drills with our students and staff, having the opportunity to see these scenarios unfold in front of you provides a new and important perspective allowing us to better prepare, even for some of the most difficult potential scenarios like we saw today.”
Haleigh Packer, spokesperson for the Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, agrees: “The safety of our students and staff is a top priority for our school division. We feel it’s important for our staff to collaborate with first responders and participate in all types of scenarios to be better prepared in case of an emergency.”
Red Deer RCMP and Red Deer Emergency Services collaborate on a variety of training exercises including mock disasters with schools and other community partners. The goals are always education, prevention, improved response and excellent communication with partners.
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S/Sgt Jeff McBeth
Red Deer RCMP
Chief Ken McMullen
Red Deer Emergency Services
Red Deer Public School Division
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools