‘Hope it never happens’

Covington’s public safety officers practice entering a school building and rescuing victims earlier today. Forming the protective shield are Police Officers Matt Raabe, Rachel White and Gregg Andrews (behind White). Behind them are Fire Department recruits Chase Autry and Brandon Padilla. Assistant Fire Chief Mike Bloemer is in the back.

Active shooter training preps recruits for worst. Goal? Save lives 

COVINGTON, Ky. - Nine recruits in the Covington Fire Department were baptized today with a training exercise that simulated a horrible scenario - a school shooting with victims and a shooter still on the scene.
The technical name for the training is Swift Assisted Victim Extraction, or S.A.V.E., but the practical description for the challenge is this: When every moment of delay could mean more people wind up dying, how can emergency medical personnel get to victims as quickly as possible - without getting shot themselves?
With the help of Covington Police Officers who acted as armed guards and a protective shield, the recruits practiced moving into a building in formation and quickly working to evaluate and evacuate simulated victims, said Mike Bloemer, Covington Fire Department Assistant Chief of Training and Operations.

Fire recruit Kevin Davis administers First Aid to “victim” and fellow recruit Tyler Sipes.

The goal of S.A.V.E. is to merge law enforcement and EMS into a seamless unit that acts quickly to minimize the loss of life, Bloemer said. In those cases, fire personnel would have to work more quickly than usual and under additional stress.
“We need to prepare for the worst,” he said. “You hope it never happens, but you have to be prepared.”
The Covington exercise occurred in the empty basement of the former YMCA building at Pike Street and Madison Avenue.

Fire recruits Michael Gullett, Ryan Ruberg, and Kevin Davis (left to right), drag “victims” and fellow recruits Chase Autry and Sara McPherson to safety.

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