Here’s the scenario:
The band Metallica is just about to start jamming for a concert inside the Rose Bowl, when suddenly, shots ring out.
A van has breached a security gate at the main entrance of the iconic venue.
The bad guys exit the van and start shooting.
One shooter is killed almost immediately by first responders but another shooter makes their way inside the stadium.
As first responders rush towards the gunfire, panic stricken spectators rush out the stadium in bunches as people lay dead and injured in their path.
The second shooter is then taken out by law enforcement, but not before four people were killed and dozens more wounded or injured.
The entire incident, which took place May 22 outside the Rose Bowl was designed as a training exercise to help prepare multiple agencies for a unified response to an active shooter situation.
“These things don’t happen every day but when they do happen, we need to be prepared,” said Pasadena Police Commander Jason Clawson. “We need to know what our tactics are, what are capabilities are and how we can work effectively as a team.”
Roughly 50 Pasadena officers participated in the drill, the first of its kind at the Rose Bowl, along with personnel from the Pasadena Fire Department along with police and fire agencies from Glendale, South Pasadena, Burbank , San Marino and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Dozens of volunteers played the parts of spectators running for their lives.
Some were made up to have serious injuries.
“Clearly there are various events that happen, not only in our country but all over the world and we want to be sure that our personnel are well trained to handle anything here that is similar,” Pasadena Fire Chief Bertral Washington said.
Classroom training preceded the real time drill
The training protocols implemented in the drill were developed by the California Firefighters Joint Apprenticeship Committee, which is a statewide firefighting training partnership.
The committee also organized the active shooter drill.
With a variety public safety officials watching, the mock mass-shooting incident was played out in real time, with responding police officers and firefighters having to react to uncertain movements of the shooters and spectators.
“The idea behind this particular exercise is bring law enforcement and firefighters together to train, said Carol Willis, communications director for the California Firefighters Joint Apprenticeship Committee. In these types of mass casualty incidents, you can’t have fire and rescue outside the perimeter. They need to come inside and train on rendering aide even though the scene hasn’t necessarily been secured. That is what unified response to violent incidents training is all about.”
A video of the training exercise will be used for future training, Willis said.