Area hospitals, first responders participate in active shooter training

MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WDTN) – Dozens of first responders were put to the test Sunday in an active shooter simulation. It comes just days after a 15-year-old opened fire inside a Kentucky high school, killing 2 people and injuring several others.

It was intense few moments Sunday for staff and first responders at Sycamore Medical Center. More than 100 volunteers came together to simulate a real-life active shooter situation, testing the abilities of police officers, firefighters, emergency room staff and operating room doctors.

“We’re doing this to help all of the hospitals,” Dayton Fire Regional MMRS Coordinator David Gertsner said. “In the region be better prepared.”

More than 100 volunteers participated. Some of them played the role of shooting victims being tended to by actual paramedics in charge of getting them the car they need as quick as possible.

“The purpose of this event is to simulate a real-life mass-causality incident,” Kettering Medical Center Trauma Medical Director Miguel Gaeta said. “And to try and stress the local facilities to access their response to these emergency events.”

Sunday’s simulation took place at Sycamore Medical Center, but involved other area hospitals as well as police, fire and the EMS Rescue Task Force, which is trained to respond to mass causality situations.

“They will identify victims in what we call a “warm zone”,” Gerstner said. “Which is an area that is a little bit safe, but not completely safe and start removing those victims.”

Each hospital is tested on their ability to manage a large influx in patients at one time.

“We have a responsibility to our communities,” Gaeta said. “To respond to their trust that we are able to respond and take care of our community members and this is the real way of really accessing that response.”

Gaeta says Sunday’s simulation is just the second of several simulations planned for the area throughout this year.

“When you’re actually involved in something so life-like, like this,” Gaeta said. “I think it brings some pride to what we do and say wow what I do can actually make a difference and I think it helps provide a little confidence.”

Gaeta says there will be six more simulations, like this one, planned for Southwest Ohio. Ultimately, he says the goal is to have every hospital in the area involved in this simulation the next time around. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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