Sheriff. fire, rescue, work on hostile incident response

Augusta CountyOver the past year, the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office and the Augusta County Fire & Rescue Department have been working together on a Unified Hostile Incident Action Guide and hostile incident response training.

The goal is to enable first responders to work together in the successful evacuation of patients from potential hot zones at mass casualty or active shooter events.

This cooperative effort began under retired Augusta County Fire Chief Carson Holloway and was immediately continued and finalized by Fire Chief Dave Nichols. In recent months, deputies and first responders from the Augusta County Fire & Rescue Department have trained together to prepare for these incidents and to develop a framework for operations, and real-world training for a unified response to incidents with weapons and/or potential mass casualty incidents.

By working together as a team, this training will allow teams of deputies and fire and rescue personnel operate together to evacuate casualties in a tactical situation.

As part of this program, the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office presented the Augusta County Fire & Rescue Department with eight bullet-resistant vests, for use by members of the ACFR Department during high-risk operations.

Sheriff Donald Smith, Fire Rescue Chief Dave Nichols, along with Augusta County SWAT Team Commander Christopher Kite and members of the ACFR, were all on hand at Company 11/ Preston L. Yancey Fire Department on July 24 for the vest turnover.

“I pray that we never need the protection these vests will provide the members of the Augusta County Fire & Rescue Department, but if we are called to respond, our joint training and these vests will be invaluable,” Smith said.

“We recognize the efforts of the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office to ensure a coordinated all-hazards response approach to protect the citizens of Augusta County. It takes the combined efforts of our emergency services partners to prepare for an event no one ever wants to respond to,” Nichols said.

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