Michael R. Kent
Chief of Police
45 Center Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Burlington Fire Department
Chief Steve Yetman
21 Center St.
Burlington, MA 01803
For Immediate Release
Monday, June 27, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Burlington Police and Fire Departments Conduct Active Shooter Drill
BURLINGTON – Police Chief Michael Kent and Fire Chief Steve Yetman are pleased to announce that the Burlington Police and Fire Departments completed an active shooter simulation, which allowed officers the opportunity to practice coordinating a response to an emergency and to create a comprehensive strategy to manage a hypothetical crisis.
More than 100 officers and firefighters participated in the training, which took place at the Burlington Mall on April 24. The training, hosted in conjunction with the Burlington Fire Department, Simons Property Management, and Allied Barton Security, also included police officers from the following departments: Burlington, Lexington, Billerica, Bedford, and Danvers.
“We were honored to work with so many other police departments and safety organizations on this drill,” Chief Kent said. “The exercise allowed us to test our emergency response practices across multiple departments, which prepared us all for more effective crisis management when a real-life situation arises.”
The simulated training began with an active shooter walking throughout the mall, firing blanks with a pistol. Pre-determined search routes sent the officers through the main hallways, staircases, and back hallways before finishing in the food court.
The Burlington Rescue Task Force (RTF), a revolutionary merger of the police and fire departments, was also implemented during the drill. In the simulation, four Burlington police officers escorted a four-man fire RTF unit through the mall into the food court, where the unit assessed a patient and brought him to an ambulance.
The RTF is a partnership between the Burlington Police and Fire Departments that allows an efficient joint response to critical and dangerous incidents. The coordination of the task force allows the fire department’s medical personnel to respond to an area before the police can declare the area to safe from threats. Now a developing public safety practice nationwide, Burlington adopted the joint response early in RTF’s curriculum.
Participants in last month’s drill were divided into 10 four-man multi-jurisdictional teams. All units completed the training and engaged in a post-training debriefing, where organizers offered both praise and constructive criticism.
“The RTF unit is expected to revolutionize how public safety departments respond to emergencies in crises such as an active shooter situation,” Chief Yetman said. “We, as Burlington public safety officers, are proud to lead the way in this smart collaboration.”
For more photos of the active shooter drill, click here.