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Las Vegas aftermath reminds first responders why they train annually for crisis

Police officers advise people to take cover near the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

EUGENE, Ore. - The tragic shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night is a painful reminder to local first respondents as to why they prepare and train annually for crisis.

"We had the Thurston incident here 20 years ago, which was a large scale response by police and firefighters, and other first responders," said Lt. Eric Klinko of the Eugene Police Department. "Of course, Columbine in Colorado really changed how law enforcement looks at and responds to these types of incidents."

Rather than wait for tactical teams to respond to an incident, Lieutenant Klinko says they train to send any first responders on duty at the time, which includes training with officers from other jurisdictions, and local firefighters.

"As opposed to waiting until the scene is rendered all clear and then coming in, we're seeing more and more firefighters across the state and even across the country willing to go into dangerous situations with officers protecting them, but so that they can more quickly render aid to the victims," said Lt. Klinko.

Lt. Klinko asks that you should always be aware of your surroundings, and when going into a venue to know where the exits are and plan ahead. That way, in case of a "man-made" event or natural disaster, you know where to go for safety.


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