By Mike DeNardo and Walt Hunter

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police and fire medics are practicing for the unthinkable: An active shooter opening fire in a mall or office building.

The gunfire was pretend, but the tension was real during active shooter training at the police academy on Monday. Officers practiced taking down the shooter and providing cover for medics so they can get to the wounded faster.

“Once the shooting is over, we’re going to secure the scene,” said police Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan. “We’re going to evacuate it of all those that have not been injured. And we’re going to begin to treat and remove those people that have been injured. And that’s going to save lives.”

Every Philadelphia police officer is getting the active shooter training.

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In addition, SWAT team captain Winton Singletary said he’s been working with retailers and businesses to prepare for the unthinkable.

“We did the Comcast Center downtown,” he said. “We did Franklin Mills Mall two Sundays ago. We trained cops and their security personnel of what to do if an active shooter came into the mall.”

Sullivan said the key is neutralizing the shooter, and getting medics to the victims within minutes, not hours.

Medics are being equipped with body armor, tourniquets, and combat gauze containing with a clotting agent to give gunshot victims a better chance of survival when seconds count.

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