GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) — First responders in the Valley are working to keep their communities safe, and one local police department is using a unique training platform to do just that.

On Thursday, Girard police hosted an ALERT workshop, or Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, which simulates real-life active shooting situations.

Twelve officers from seven local departments took part.

Trainees will become certified instructors, allowing them to train other officers at their departments for real, active shooting situations.

“The idea of being trained up on it, how to respond properly — and more so, being able to develop the collaborative efforts to be able to work with additional people, additional teams, additional departments … is invaluable,” said Capt. John Freeman with the Girard department.

ALERT started after the shooting in Columbine, and the program is now partnered with the FBI.

“This class in particular adds another three days to help develop and additional curriculum for trainers to actually bring this content to their own departments,” says Freeman.

Freeman says a follow-up training session may happen this summer.