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Defenders and fire dogs take training to a new level

Airman 1st Class Christopher Shelton, 47th Security Forces Squadron patrolman, scans his surroundings in a training scenario at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 1, 2018. The 47th SFS, along with the 47th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters, recently started training with a new and improved process aimed at cutting down response time to active shooter scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin N. Valmoja)

Airman 1st Class Christopher Shelton, 47th Security Forces Squadron patrolman, scans his surroundings in a training scenario at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 1, 2018. The 47th SFS, along with the 47th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters, recently started training with a new and improved process aimed at cutting down response time to active shooter scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin N. Valmoja)

Senior Airman Ashley Knowland, 47th Security Forces Squadron patrolman, keeps watch during a training scenario at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 1, 2018. The 47th SFS, along with the 47th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters, recently started training with a new and improved process aimed at cutting down response time to active shooter scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin N. Valmoja)

Senior Airman Ashley Knowland, 47th Security Forces Squadron patrolman, keeps watch during a training scenario at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 1, 2018. The 47th SFS, along with the 47th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters, recently started training with a new and improved process aimed at cutting down response time to active shooter scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin N. Valmoja)

Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Enfinger (center right), 47th Security Forces Squadron security forces manager, briefs defenders and firefighters during a training scenario at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 1, 2018. With more than 20 years of civilian law enforcement, and more than eight years of special weapons and tactics, or SWAT, experience, Enfinger passed on his knowledge to Laughlin’s defenders as they move to a new way to handle active shooter scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin N. Valmoja)

Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Enfinger (center right), 47th Security Forces Squadron security forces manager, briefs defenders and firefighters during a training scenario at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 1, 2018. With more than 20 years of civilian law enforcement, and more than eight years of special weapons and tactics, or SWAT, experience, Enfinger passed on his knowledge to Laughlin’s defenders as they move to a new way to handle active shooter scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin N. Valmoja)

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

The 47th Security Forces Squadron and the 47th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters recently held a training course focused on saving minutes and lives at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 1, 2018.

RTF, or Response Task Force, was the focus of the training, and it zeroed in on cutting down the time required for emergency personnel to evacuate and treat victims of an active shooter event. The course was the second time the class had been held on base, and Laughlin’s security forces squadron is one of the first installations to incorporate RTF into their training program.

“This is huge, not only for Laughlin but for defenders everywhere,” said Mike Palazuelos, 47th Security Forces quality control evaluator. “Compared to before, we’re cutting the response time for the injured virtually in half. Now, instead of clearing the entire building before medical personnel can come in, we are focusing on directly neutralizing the threat and controlling the areas that people need help in first.”

The defenders and firefighters were joined by Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Enfinger, 47th SFS security forces manager, as well as a member of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Border Tactical Unit to help give a tactical perspective and feedback on performance. Enfinger, a reserve Airman assigned to Laughlin is a special weapons and tactics officer in San Antonio, Texas, when he’s not with the 47th SFS.

“Having Senior Enfinger and [BORTAC] here was such an advantage because they’re a wealth of knowledge,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel Holland, 47th SFS flight chief. “These guys have been in real-life situations where they needed to act to save lives, so with them there to lead the training and help our defenders it gave us that leg up that sets Laughlin up for success in the long run.”

In situations where minutes and seconds quickly add up, being well equipped to handle the task at hand is crucial, and Senior Airman Aaron Simpson-Freeman, 47th SFS patrolman said the training gave them exactly that.

“This training is a great tool that helps us stay on our toes,” said Simpson-Freeman. “The old way was good, but we had no way of incorporating medical personnel in our initial response. Now, with the new system we have more time to save lives.”