Fox Point — North Shore police, firefighters and paramedics rushed through the hallways of Cardinal Stritch University with their guns drawn, escorting gunshot victims to a safe space.
That was the scene in a realistic training session at Cardinal Stritch recently, when seven North Shore police departments and the North Shore Fire Department participated in a joint training exercise preparing for an active shooter event.
The eight North Shore agencies don't often train together in one large group, but Fox Point Police Captain Doug Dubnicka said it was important to get them all on the same page for an active shooter event — a chaotic situation that requires split-second decisions.
'As long as we get all seven different police agencies together on board knowing each other, knowing each other's tactics and our verbal cues, we are ahead of the game,' he said.
If an active shooter event were to occur, the police and fire departments aim to provide victim contact within 10 minutes and victim transport within an hour.
North Shore police and fire departments often participate in group training, but rarely on a large scale. For the first time, they were able to train together on the Cardinal Stritch University campus.
Cardinal Stritch Provost Jeffrey Senese has a Ph.D. in criminal justice and has worked as a probation officer, so he reached out to the police and fire departments to see if they wanted to use the campus for training. He said the experience was mutually beneficial for emergency responders and the university.
'We have a lot of commuter students, so there's a lot of in-and-out traffic throughout the day,' he said. 'If the police and fire departments are called to our campus, we want them to know the campus intimately.'