First responders will learn from Fort Lauderdale airport killings
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Friday's mass shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, which resulted in five deaths and a half-dozen injuries, has airports across the country beefing up security, including at Jacksonville International Airport.
The Jacksonville Airport Authority won't release details about changes made, but first responders are talking about re-evaluating their active shooter response plans.
"The most important piece is interoperability among different departments that you have," said Randy Wyse of the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters.
Wyse said first responders are prepared for pretty much any situation, but Jacksonville Fire-Rescue does not have a true active-shooter standard operating procedure in place.
"A lot of thought and experience goes into that. Developing a standard operating procedure for a 1,300-person department is very calculated," Wyse said. "Having that relationship with (the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office) that you work with them, because it can't be them doing what they do and JFRD doing what we do. We've got to work together."
Wyse said officials have been testing equipment and running drills at the airport. After Friday's deadly shooting in Fort Lauderdale, he hopes local agencies can come together to quickly create a refined action plan for an active-shooter scenario.
"It may be an act of terrorism, and you have to be aware of that," Wyse said. "That you just don't run in the middle of a situation and instead of becoming a rescuer, becoming a victim. We want to remain the rescuers and make sure we have the proper equipment on, that there's a coordinated effort to go in and save those citizens."
He said coordination in the response is key, making sure everyone is on the same page and there's no confusion between agencies.
"God forbid we have an active-shooter situation in Jacksonville. If we do, you have the best-trained police officers and firefighters in the country responding to that," Wyse said. "What we're trying to do is make it better."
Wyse said the agencies that were on the ground at the Fort Lauderdale shooting will evaluate how they reacted to the incident and share that with other agencies so they can learn from their response.
Copyright 2017 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.