A participant in tactical medical training assesses the injuries of a mock victim.

People screaming, blood on the ground and chaos – this was what several first responders walked into at the Missouri Sheriff’s Academy training center Thursday evening.

Although no one had actually been shot or injured, the instructors did their best to make the scene look as realistic as possible.

Tactical medical training prepares people to be able to save lives in the midst of an active threat. Trainees go through classroom lectures, life-like scenarios and discussions. Everyone involved at Thursday’s training was a first responder from Missouri. Firefighters, police officers and emergency management staff learned how to treat life-threatening injuries with limited equipment.

In order to emulate real-life scenarios, the Maries County Sheriff’s Office brought in volunteer actors to play victims. They also used fake blood and fake guns.

The training was co-hosted by the Missouri Sheriff’s Academy and the Maries County Sheriff’s Office.

“It’s important because when officers arrive on the scene, you don’t know who is going to be injured,” Interim Executive Director Missouri Sheriff’s Association Kevin Merritt said.

“The officers could get injured while they’re trying to apprehend the suspect or treat the victims injuries. This class will teach them not only to save themselves…but also to help save the life of the victim.”

Participant Jeremiah Bragg said he will be the only member of the Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office certified in tactical medical and he was thrilled to be expanding his education.

“I grew up in the community so it means everything to me to be able to protect the people in that community,” he said.

Photo and story by Megan Sanchez | KRCG 13