West Branch Fire Department goes through active shooter training

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WEST BRANCH, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Avoid, Deny, Defend: that's what one volunteer fire department in eastern Iowa wants to teach others to do while under an attack.

Training sessions are not unusual for the West Branch Fire Department. The meetings happen at least once a month.

Sandy Heick leads all trainings. But Wednesday night's meeting had a different twist. She taught her fellow firefighters the Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, known as CRASE.

The training looks at previous mass shootings to see how people successfully escaped.

First, people should try to avoid the situation, or run away.

"Next is deny. So if you can get behind something to keep close and keep person out," Heick said.

Lastly, defend, or approach and try to stop the attacker. Heick hopes this is the first of many trainings.

"We're doing it for the fire department first and get the bugs out," Heick said.

The hope is for the training to go to other areas of town, like the school It's a free program so organizers want everyone to take part.

"This is happening around the country right now and it's just a matter of time until it comes to our area," Heick said.

Heick wants her community to be prepared for the worst possible situation.

Sandy Heick is willing to train other businesses, organizations or teams about this training. People can contact her, through Johnson County Ambulance, at (319) 356-6013.