Newtown Police Speak At Augusta Conference For Maine First Responders

Morgan Sturdivant

Updated 12 months ago

First responders from throughout the state responded to Augusta Tuesday for the Fifth Annual Maine Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference.Visiting police from Connecticut shared their thoughts on an emergency situation they’ll never forget.Speakers from the Newtown Police Department talked about their experience during the tragic day at Sandy Hook Elementary School.It was the first time they have spoken in a forum like this since the morning 20 students were killed.The men are recalling a day at work that they never want anyone else to go through.”If you we’re listening to them, that would have been the only sound that you heard in a room full of six hundred people,” said Rob McAleer, the Director of the Maine Emergency Management Agency.The Augusta Civic Center was packed with Maine first responders to hear from these two members of the Newtown Police Department, and what it was like on December 14th, when they responded to gun shots at Sandy Hook Elementary School.”I think each and every one of them probably was trying to correlate what they were hearing, with what their role would be how they would react, how well are we prepared, have we thought about these things in our own communities,” said McAleer. McAleer says it’s a privilege to have them speak to so many from maine that could potentially be in a similar situation.”Something like Sandy Hook is just unimaginable for anybody, I think, but for those of us that would have to respond to something like that, it takes your breath away when you start to think about it and knowing that, here’s Maine. Something like that could happen here in Maine as well,” said McAleer.Different aspects of the day were talked about, including how important it is for all emergency responders to take care of themselves mentally.”Fortunately in Maine, first responders have learned that fire, police, and the EMS, all have crisis intervention teams they use,” said Maine State Police Chief Colonel Robert Williams, .Taking time to prepare for the unexpected is what organizers say is the ultimate goal of the conference.”I think we’re going to take away that we’re as prepared as we can be, we’ve had good training, the different disciples work together well, we’ve had table talks, we’ve worked together a lot on other things, we all contribute to something if this magnitude if we have to respond,” Williams.The two-day conference includes workshops and information sessions on all types of emergency tactics.The conference continues Wednesday with keynote speakers from Maine who responded to Superstorm Sandy.


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