CONCORD, Ohio - First responders rushed to Chardon High School two years ago, organized, working in harmony with each other to save lives following a tragic shooting. It was a day of lessons for many.
In light of lapses in communication to area responders that day, Concord Township Fire Department's Chief Michael Warner, sought to change protocols that seem to separate city's and township's emergency-responding teams.
"From that incident, it just wrenched at your insides when you heard this call, because when you heard it you just couldn't believe that it would happen," said Warner.
All emergency-responding departments go through intensive training, but that day in 2012 brought out glaring needs by those departments realizing there were areas of their training that could be improved, or at least approached differently.
"We had to find a way to incorporate training along with our law enforcement and find a way to cooperate more, to get that family bond between law enforcement and fire back again," said Warner.
The sheriffs department is based in Painesville ,a few miles north of Concord Township. While not in the same community as Concord, it is Concord's acting law enforcement.
Chief Warner and Sheriff Dunlap decided that a communication plan, combined with medical kit training funded by the Ohio Attorney General's office would better serve the Sheriffs office and Concord Fire Department.
But, this plan was more than just another training exercise.
"Sheriff Dunlap and I decided we wanted to bring our deputies and our firefighters closer together with training, and bring them in to the station so it's more like a first-name basis. And that's what Chardon had. We learned that from the Chardon law enforcement people and fire; How well they knew those police officers...because they had lunch with them, they had dinner with them, they'd have coffee, they'd train with them. I really thought that was a key factor in how successful that operation went in Chardon," said Warner.
With that template of communication in mind, Warner said other departments from the State Highway Patrol and O.D.O.T. have wanted to work with Concord, as well.