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Town Hosts First Responder Terrorist Attack Training

Terrorist attack training
Terrorist attack training for first responders in Prosper, Texas. | Image by Prosper Police Department/Facebook

First responders at the local, state, and federal levels gathered in Prosper on Thursday for training on how to handle a terrorist attack.

Prosper was one of five locations in Texas selected to host a Coordinated Complex Terrorist Attack simulation, which tests the readiness of first responders and communication personnel in the event of a coordinated statewide attack, according to a Prosper press release.

The four other cities that hosted attack simulation were Lubbock, San Antonio, Houston, and El Paso.

The Prosper Police Department, the Prosper Fire Department, Prosper ISD Police Department, the FBI, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Collin County Sheriff’s Office, and multiple other agencies participated in the training, per the press release.

Texas DPS regional director for North Texas Jeremy Sherrod said in the release that such simulations are an “invaluable demonstration of efforts with state, local, and federal assets.” He said they can help “create a road map to prepare, train, and enhance our capabilities for an effective response.”

“Most importantly, these exercises foster communication and trust between law enforcement and the community of North Texas,” he added.

Prosper Police Chief Doug Kowalski said the training began at 8:50 a.m. when “a call came into the dispatch center to the school dispatcher that there was some shots fired,” per NBC 5 DFW.

Later in the morning, at around 9:30 a.m., dispatchers received a call about a similar event that had to be managed by officials.

The training was held at the Prosper ISD Stadium and Prosper Central Fire Station and included a detailed simulation of injuries and casualties.

“Practicing these simulated scenarios allows our department to best prepare for real-life incidents that would require us to quickly treat and extract injured patients,” Prosper Fire Chief Stuart Blasingame said in the release.

“Not only does our department gain practical experience, but by collaborating with other nearby departments and local trauma centers, all who participated today increased our readiness to treat and serve those who might be the most critically injured in an actual mass casualty incident,” he said.

The perspective was echoed by Chad Yarbrough, the FBI Dallas special agent in charge, who said in the release that practicing for such events created an “opportunity to establish best practices and develop relationships before an actual event occurs.”

“Not only does our department gain practical experience, but by collaborating with other nearby departments and local trauma centers, all who participated today increased our readiness to treat and serve those who might be the most critically injured in an actual mass casualty incident,” he said.

The training occurred the same day that a series of mass shootings in Maine left 18 people dead, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Blasingame spoke about the shooting in Maine, calling it an “absolutely heartbreaking” event.

“Again, none of us want to go to this. None of us want to see this. None of us want to hear about this. Unfortunately, in our world, that’s the facts. That’s just what’s going to happen,” he said, as reported by NBC 5.

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