Police departments, elementary schools, hospitals, airports, military bases, court buildings, casinos, movie theaters, shopping centers, universities, nightclubs are all locations of recent active shooter/hostile event (ASHE) or mass casualty incidents (MCIs) and they are becoming increasingly common. Assailants pose a threat to all hard and soft targets. They may attack on any day of the week and any time of day. Monterey, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Newtown, Orlando, San Bernardino, Fort Lauderdale, Clackamas County, Aurora and Seattle are just some of the jurisdictions in which an ASHE or MCI has occurred. These events can occur in small, medium or large municipalities.
Population density is often a consideration among assailants; however, this does not always drive their motive. Vehicles, fire, knives, assault rifles and handguns are some of the weaponry involved in dynamic, ASHEs/MCIs. The events evolve rapidly, and an assailant can have one or multiple types of weapons on his or her person.
The need to integrate first responders (EMS/Fire) alongside law enforcement officers during these events is critical to effectively mitigate such incidents. It is crucial that first responders are prepared to respond to these incidents effectively, timely, and safely to render aid and save live(s). Given the complexity and wide range of possible scenarios, first responders need new resources, tools/equipment, education and training that emphasizes an integrated response to any ASHE/MCI.
For any jurisdiction to be fully prepared for any ASHE/MCI means that they must have a comprehensive, integrated response and recovery plan with allied emergency responders. A truly integrated response means that law enforcement, Fire/EMS and 911 telecommunications must increase their opportunities to cross-train and debrief with all stakeholders. These opportunities are not currently widely available.
The purpose of this training is to establish guidelines, procedures and tactics that will assist law enforcement and EMS/Fire in working as a team to respond to these situations and provide lifesaving to maximize patient survivability.
The purpose of the Rescue Task Force (RTF) is to mitigate provider risk while rapidly forward deploying stabilizing medical responses to assist in treatment and evacuation of the wounded despite hazardous conditions that might otherwise delay treatment. If all first responders are trained in RTF and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC), they can better assist one another during their response. Although law enforcement’s role is to provide security during an MCI, all first responders can be trained in life-saving techniques and rescue carries and carry life-saving equipment that can be shared among personnel.