WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — According to the gun violence archive, the U.S. saw more than 640 mass shootings last year.
They track shootings using police reports and news coverage.
The organization defines a mass shooting as at least four people being killed or injured.
Now, first responders in Central Georgia are preparing in the event that a mass shooting happens here.
It's the third simulation held at Central Georgia Technical College's Warner Robins campus.
13WMAZ’s Jessica Cha was there to see how police and EMS are training.
When mass casualty happens, Central Georgia Technical College and other law enforcement and medical agencies try to be prepared. There’s a new situation each year. This time around, there's an active shooter in the building.
"It doesn't make us feel well that this occurs in the world. We need to prepare for when and if that does occur,” says Warner Robins Interim Assistant Chief of Police, Wayne Fisher.
He says law enforcement agencies in the city and Houston County collaborate with Central Georgia Technical College yearly.
In the first half of today's simulation, a car crashes into a crowd of people outside.
“The incident devolves into an active shooter situation,” Fisher explains. “Which causes the officers on the scene, as well as all Fire and EMS personnel to be adaptive to the situation they're in.”
Fisher says it's rare for so many people– college staff, nursing students, law enforcement agencies, and EMS– to train together as a team.
He says these shootings are all too common.
“At any given time, our community could be that one that one incident occurs at, and we need to prepare ourselves,” Fisher says.
Nursing student at CGTC, Seth Elder, says this is his second year participating.
“Last year, I was on the rescue task force. So, once a contact team goes in and helps mitigate the threat, we go and triage patients in the hallways, in the rooms we gotta do, and get them out so they can get medical attention they need,” Elder says.
Elder says the situations are exciting, but he does take them seriously.
"It does feel real. It's high paced, high energy. These are scenarios that we're training for,” he explains. “The more people that can respond appropriately, the more people can get effective care, and then we're saving more lives."
Elder says mass shootings are at the forefront of the news, but this training prepares folks for other mass emergencies. Something he's already used the training in.
"Weather is something we've got to take into play. After this training, I've actually triaged three different motor vehicle crashes that I've been able to help in real life based off of the training here, so it's very applicable” he says.
Central Georgia Technical College says they will be having another simulation next year.