July 23, 2019

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Fire Response to Active Shooter Events

Gordon Graham
Category: Fire and Rescue

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for firefighters and today I am talking about the importance of planning ahead for your response to an active shooter incident. 

An active shooter or other mass casualty event can occur anywhere.  It’s important that you and your department are ready when the call comes in.

Public safety professionals have two main goals when responding to an active shooter situationStop the violence. And save lives. In the past, if a scene was potentially unsafe, many firefighters would stage away until the scene was secure. This seems to be changing.  

Some agencies are deploying fire and EMS personnel into the war zone with law enforcement. This could help ensure that the injured victims receive lifesaving aid more quickly 

An active shooter or other mass casualty incidents can occur anywhere. Including in your community. It’s important that you and your department are ready when the call comes in. Start with policy and training. 

Develop policies and procedures for how your agency will respond. Work with other agencies as you develop your plans. This includes the law enforcement and EMS agencies operating in your jurisdiction. It also includes those agencies operating in nearby areas. Think big. Include everyone who might be responding if the call comes in.  

Train. Train. Train. Your training should include the application of tourniquets, evacuation of patients, triage, and even moving with law enforcement into the war zone. Practice under stressful conditions. Practice at the speed of real life.  

Train with everyone who might respondAs you train, test the written procedures you have developedMake adjustments and changes where they are needed to ensure that your written plans remain relevant and up to date.  

These incidents are a classic example of high risk, low frequency, and low discretionary time event. You will not have enough time to analyze and consider your response unless you do it now. When the call comes in it will be too late to start planning 

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 

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