By Mike Hellgren


BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The deadliest mass shooting in modern history, which took place in an Orlando nightclub earlier this month, shows the urgent need for first responders to be prepared.

FBI numbers show an average of 11 active shooter incidents nationwide every year.

WJZ’s Mike Hellgren reports that Maryland has seen several active shooter situations in recent years, which makes training sessions like the one held at the Department of Public Safety facility in Sykesville Tuesday with federal and local law enforcement present even more crucial.

“A lot of folks are training for the worst case scenario that we hope never comes,” said Agent Adam Parks, of the Department of Homeland Security.

But some of those who trained in response tactics and victim treatment Tuesday have faced real-life danger before — responding to the deadly 2013 Navy Yard shooting in D.C. and the shooting at the Mall in Columbia less than a year later.

“We know it can happen anywhere, and we know the reality after witnessing what happened down in Columbia, Maryland,” said Libby Luebberman, a Sykesville-Freedom paramedic. “Having this training facility here in Sykesville hopefully will open a door to have more training like this.”

In addition to field exercises, other agencies are using high tech simulators that put police in the middle of a shooting.

It’s all part of preparing for a frightening new reality.

Hellgren reports that Maryland is unique in that it’s so close to D.C., which makes lots of federal resources available in a crisis.

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