Mad River Valley residents and visitors are advised not to panic this weekend if they hear gunshots in Waitsfield Village behind the Mad River Valley Ambulance Service (MRVAS) building. MRVAS members are participating in a Tactical Combat Casualty Care course that involves shooting blanks, not live ammo, much like a starter at a sporting event.

The training takes place on Saturday, August 4, and Sunday, August 5. The course is taught by instructors from the Advanced Life Support Institute (ALSI) of Conway, NH. This course introduces evidence-based, lifesaving techniques and strategies for providing the best trauma care and emergency medical services possible in an active shooter situation.

"Although it is hoped that there will never be an active shooter event in our area, these specially trained members of MRVAS will be able to coordinate with law enforcement agencies to potentially begin their lifesaving work prior to law enforcement clearing the scene. This training will enable members of MRVAS to reduce the risk of further injury or death for patients in a crisis situation. MRVAS members with this training will be able to move patients out of harm’s way and to tend to wounded patients in the 'warm zone,'" explained MRVAS spokesperson Laura Caffry.

All participants will be involved in classroom presentations as well as hands-on skills and scenarios. During some of these scenarios, and especially during the practical portion of the certification on Sunday, August 5, there will be live-fire simulations. It will be these live-fire simulations that will cause all the noise. MRVAS thanks the community for its ongoing support and especially for its support of this important training.