How 911 dispatchers responded to the STEM School shooting


CENTENNIAL — Dispatchers from South Metro Fire Rescue’s headquarters in Centennial were flooded with 911 calls on Tuesday when the shooting took place at the STEM School Highlands Ranch.

“Initially from people who were involved in the incident,” explained Eric Hurst, a Public Information Officer with South Metro Fire Rescue. "People who were with injured students who needed help”.

All in all, South Metro Fire Rescue and its neighboring partners sent more than 150 personnel to the scene just from Fire & EMS alone.

"From working in dispatch during the Aarapahoe High School shooting, this event had far more resources,” explained Hurst.

According to Hurst, this was based on the severity of the calls initially coming in.

"Just last year we were training for an active shooter incident,” said Luke Hildebrandt, one of South Metro’s dispatchers.

South Metro Fire Rescue provides therapeutic ways for their dispatchers and responders to cope with the difficulties they endure.

"I think it’s important to realize emergency responders aren’t super heroes. We have to deal with feelings and emotions,” Hildebrandt said.

To learn more about South Metro Fire Rescue’s response, click here.

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