Shortly after I heard the news about last Sunday's Sikh Temple shooting, I couldn't help but think back to my day in April with Milwaukee police offers participating in the Tactical EMS Training class at the Waukesha County Technical College.
The scenarios I watched matched up so closely with the real-life shooting in Oak Creek, that I had to give Officer Chad Stiles, the instructor at the class, a call to get his reaction.
Stiles, who works for both MPD and WCTC, couldn't comment on behalf of Milwaukee Police, but he could talk to me as the TEMS instructor.
"I'm not trying to Monday morning quarterback anything, because I wasn't there," he said, before we started talking.
But Stiles had heard the audio of the dispatch call, and he could offer some insider analysis of what happened in those volatile first minutes.
"Initially patrol is going to get dispatched in situations like this, and their job is to go in there and assess the situation," said Stiles. "Sometimes they have little information to start out with. They might not know the scope of what they're getting into. They might think it's just one person down, and then you find out there there's still a subject on the loose."
He said, "They have to try to interview people during this dynamic situation ... so they know who they're looking for. Also, medically try to take care of anyone who gets hit."
I asked Stiles if the injured police officer, Brian Murphy, acted according to protocol, tending to a victim before neutralizing the threat of the shooter. My first thought, from the outside looking in, was that he had not.
"As far as the information he had specifically, that may have been the best course of action. I can't say for sure what he knew at the time," said Stiles.
"The way we train is that if we know it's an active shooter, they go in in teams, walking past potential injured people because they need to stop that homicide in progress. If you don't know that it's an ongoing, active shooter situation, you might stop at the first victim, try to obtain information and render as much aid as possible, until you can make an assessment of the whole scope of the situation."
I also wanted to know why news footage showed ambulances from the North Shore and squad cars from the Waukesha County Sheriff office. Did Oak Creek not have enough resources to respond to this?
Said Stiles, "Multiple mutual aid calls went out. The EMS folks have a MABAS box, which stands for Mutual Aid Box Alarm System."
"It's the way that departments in the state can identify resources," explained Stiles, that a predetermined system is in place to send ambulances from around the area. That way, said Stiles, one department doesn't use and deplete all of its units on one emergency.
Finally, as an officer and a trainer, himself, I asked what went through Stiles' mind on Sunday.
"Both this incident and in Colorado, this is exactly what we've been training for, and this is exactly why we're using the methodology of training our officers this way," he said.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published July 9, 2017
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then sometimes it's best to let them just speak for themselves. Here are eight photos I took that made me look twice during Summerfest's 2017 run.
Published July 8, 2017
Rereading my review from 2009, I see that Lewis' set list hasn't changed much in the last seven years ... and why would it? The order has flipped: he opened with "The Heart of Rock & Roll" this time instead off closing with it. But this very tight band, which has been performing in almost the same incarnation since 1979, played hit after `80s hit.
Published July 6, 2017
Up until just two years ago, Summerfest offered something very unique at a few of the beer stands on the grounds. If you looked hard enough, you could find special red and white wine coolers, with the closely-guarded secret ingredients, that were made just for the Big Gig.
Published July 6, 2017
Nineteen Thirteen is high art, a pairing of two unlikely instruments and a style that is totally its own. This is a group that sounds at home at the Jazz Estate or Linneman's, but eclectically and wonderfully out-of-place on the BMO Stage. But also not.
Published June 29, 2017
Original founders Anthony Kiedis and Flea, buffeted by longtime drummer and Will Ferrell doppelgänger Chad Smith, plus former touring guitarist Josh Kinghoffer, looked like the crazy, ripped, tattooed, formerly drunk uncles you always wish you had (or at least I wish I had). And they put on one of the best Summerfest shows I've ever seen.
Published June 27, 2017
OnMilwaukee Publisher Andy Tarnoff might as well call Summerfest 2017 his "guilty pleasure tour." But he's not ashamed. Here's who he's seeing at the Big Gig.
Published June 22, 2017
I love black coffee, so I took a little umbrage to a new study published in the journal Appetite, which cited a connection between black coffee drinkers and sadists, psychopaths and narcissists.
Published June 2, 2017
In an industry where positioning a brand as retro vintage is suddenly new and trendy, Milwaukee's Lucky Tiger doesn't even need to even try. Trademarked in Kansas City in 1935, the iconic men's brand actually stretches back to a barber shop from the 1920s, when it was a very large line of tonics and hair products.
Published May 13, 2017
Such an unlikely pairing. The blue-eyed soul of Hall & Oates, or the Brit pop of Tears For Fears? Who was better Saturday night at the Bradley Center? Depends who you're asking.
Published May 11, 2017
Milwaukee artist Ava Herrider is an animal lover, but it took her a few career changes to settle upon pet portraiture as her full-time job. Last year, she decided to do what moves her: "paint things people love," as she says. In other words, their pets.