GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Tuesday evening, the halls of ECU's Belk building became the training grounds for ECU police officers practicing the response they would conduct in the event of an active shooter situation.
The annual force-on-force training is conducted using mock weapons that are the same size and weight as the guns used by law enforcement and puts officers in a situation where they must face a staged shooter.
Extreme effort is put into heightening the realism of the experience as well, with officers wearing special masks and throat guards that serve as protection during the drill, as well as an obstacle. The tight-fitting masks and goggles mimic stress by slightly restricting breathing and sight, increasing the adrenaline inside the body.
According to Lt. Chris Sutton of the ECU Police Department, "These are some of the exact same things that the body experiences when confronted with a critical threatening situation. So using these types of training techniques, our officers get as close of an experience to what it's like to face an active shooter, as to what it would be like in the field."
This year's training also featured a course on how to stop or minimize bleeding in people who have been shot, with a particular focus on treating arms and legs.
Overseeing the training was Dr. Eric Toschlog, the Trauma Medical Director at Vidant Medical Center who said, "The thrust of this course is to show these police officers and other personnel how to stop bleeding, primarily through the application of a tourniquet and packing open wounds."
Exercises for the ECU officers will continue all week long at the Belk building with the training itself being carried out at night.