Central Florida first responders hold active threat training at UCF

3-day Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education course allows responders to prepare for mass shooting situations

ORLANDO, Fla. – While students at the University of Central Florida are on spring break, first responders used the campus for active threat training.

Police officers, firefighters and paramedics across Central Florida participated in a three-day course, led by instructors from Louisiana State University’s Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education.

On Thursday, a group of officers and firefighters used a building as a practice run for a mass shooting situation.

Volunteers with JROTC pretended to be victims while first responders made their way inside to stop the “shooter.”

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The training comes a month after the deadly mass shooting at Michigan State University, where a gunman opened fire, killing three people and wounding five more.

UCF Police Sgt. Gerard Flood said trainings like this one are necessary so that all first responders are prepared for a worst-case scenario.

“We are one of the largest universities in the country. It is always a target,” Flood said.

He added the training is designed to save lives in active threats by improving integration between officers, firefighters and paramedics.

Flood said the goal is to continue these types of trainings throughout the year.

“We have 68,000 enrolled (students), about 12,000 employees for the University of Central Florida, we hold large-scale events, football games, basketball games, concerts. So, any time you put that many people in an isolated area, we have to make sure we are on our game at all times,” Flood said.

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About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!