Home>Topics>>Fire/EMS Response to Civil Unrest

Fire/EMS Response to Civil Unrest

Get Adobe Flash Player to see this content.

Wed, 9 Mar 2011|

Civil unrest events are becoming more prevalent around the world and fire department and EMS units are playing a greater role in responding to them.

+

Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

The program's goal -- person -- image responders. -- some basic tools and information through the steps to develop or civil unrest and -- protest guidelines and procedures. They're definitely appears in today's world to be an increase in -- top of events. Across United States act of violence -- firefighters and medics continues to grab headlines. Regardless of where you work you'll likely face the challenge of responding to some type of -- That will involve violence towards first responders. -- -- Canon does occur suburban metropolitan. And rural areas. And can include large crowds mixed with alcohol violent protests in civil unrest. And for some responders these type of events may become the common occurrence and for others. They may not be used to it but we need to play important unless. The presentation is designed to help fill you're GAAP. And your knowledge of these tough situations and how you can plan in response in these situations. The rapid safe and successful response to the top of chaotic situations -- require planning and preparation. The likelihood of a civil unrest incidence is low but with the increase of these type of situations it's important public safety agencies. Plan for and prepare for these and -- multi agency environment. Recent civil unrest violent protests have demonstrated the need for local. State regional and federal. Public -- continue to prepare for these situations. These situations can occur even in smaller jurisdiction in rural -- if you have a college. If you have a large sports event or if you have a political. This can cause on top of civil unrest are violent protests situation. Under local and state -- mutual aid agreements. You know if your jurisdiction is not impacted you may be called upon to assist in neighboring agencies. And planning for responding to this incident if it does occur. Preparation is the key through civil unrest event that requires you to do extensive planning and preparation. Before the answer -- occurs. Again it is important to remember that these events can occur and suburban rural and metro areas. The first step in the planning process is to review your current guidelines or procedures on how your age is going to respond to you and civil unrest of them aren't violent protest. That's -- any multi hazard assessment and planning process -- it's important bring your key interest together. To conduct an exercise to evaluate your plan this can -- can involve a tabletop exercise aren't functional exercise they'll allow you to enter and apply. In shortcomings in your planning process. As part of this planning process that would be important to invite your local. Our regional our state of -- has an office -- -- planning process is they may already have context and are conducting planning and training and exercises. -- your mutual aid partners so this allow you to reach out your community agencies and you may already have built relationships. And some networking. Another important step in the planning process is to reach out to any other communities that had a similar event. In their jurisdiction to find out what lessons that they learned. That -- remember that the First Amendment of the US constitution. Don't guarantee people the right to peaceful assembly and petition their government to address the grievances. On certain occasions this peaceful lot of -- involved -- -- and that for public safety becomes a concern. It's very command system is one of the best tools but any public thinking she can utilize to respond to situations. It's -- command system. Allows you to make notifications call for resources. Establish a unified command used operations officer -- Federer Federer again the answer command system is an excellent tool that any agency that any thoughts. Can utilized to manage the situation. It's important to remember the public safety agencies must continue to plan for and prepare to use the incident command system this is. Guidance provided to us by the Department of Homeland Security. First arriving units will have a drastic effect on the outcome of enhancement that's very important that any publication. Public taken from its first on the scene provide a situational update and their windshield survey. Immediately upon arrival. A reminder for party -- agencies that there is a difference between law enforcement on scene of an incident and scene is secure. -- MS agencies. Should remain in a secured staging area until the scene -- -- when possible. There are two major type of incidents that could occur. Warren is an organized to planned event the other is a spontaneous event. And organized event can be a political event. Such as the World Trade Organization the International Monetary Fund the DNC the RNC. I am now the GAG warning any large geopolitical could prevent our convention can lead to some -- of violent protests. You can also have sporadic events which are on college campuses. Block parties sports events street celebrations. Marty brawl spring break. Rock concerts -- any -- these tough situations that can lead to those events occurring. You may also have a racial tensions it will lead to events. Such as the LA riots the Cincinnati over the Rhine neighborhood event or the bit in arbor Michigan -- Correctional facilities have also seen a history of civil unrest. So it's important if you have a correctional facility. Such as a prison or jail in your jurisdiction that they are prepared for these events to occur. If dispatches on top of -- unrest. Situation important get all the pre arrival information available to you from dispatch. The -- location and the nature of the call are very important. As we know. Dispatching information may not always be correct are very very good based on the information the communication center is receiving. For party MS thinks he's it's important to request law enforcement assistance. As soon as possible in the indicators of a violent protestors civil unrest of them have been given. Firefighters and medics should have access to ballistic body armor as part of -- personal protective equipment on fumble. If they're going to be responding to these type of situation. Support for party administration seems to be able to identified if they they're not already have available ballistic body armor where they can find that. And the times of need. Are to address that in the multi agency planning a which agencies would have that available to them. That's a civil unrest event is not your normal shooting or stabbing call. Your procedures and guidelines may not addressed the use ballistic body armor so it's important to discuss that at this time on how -- he would respond in your own community. For one of these events if they occur. Typical party -- procedures require that law enforcement is on the scene part of their arrival. To any -- -- volatile situation. But with a civil unrest -- that you may find yourself on scene first due to the wrong address -- to the victims coming to you. Any type of violence situation such as crowds fighting civil unrest. Should raise a red flag for -- and that's responders become more aware of the environment and situation they're responding -- Barney -- should never hesitate to call for law enforcement if they think. Situation warrants it they just need to be able to justify that records. Alcohol maybe president and large groups -- crowds there's almost always an individual or individuals. Who may target responders are believed that responders. -- not moving quick enough to help their friends or family deal with whatever medical emergency -- they have. This -- -- -- situation awareness upon arrival do you have one option that's called parking pass the situation. This is where you'll drive past this. The situation that you're being dispatched to. To give you a little bit of an idea of what's happening and who's involved and what's occurring on the scene. You drive past the incident if it's deemed unsafe you can continue to -- -- if you feel like you can enter the scene at that time you can stop the vehicle. Another arrival option is required approach when you'll stop short buck 5200 feet away from the incident. Turn your lights -- your vehicle off and listen and look at what's occurring before you make the decision in of that situation. If the scene appears to be in two quality -- it's important that you may need to back your vehicle ought to have more secure location and call for law enforcement. And additional resources if necessary. One of the mat reasons you may want to pull out of the area because if the participants see you then they come torture -- truck or your ambulance. Responders need to constantly maintain a sense of caution when dealing when it. Large hostile -- crowds. Reminder that not everyone will greet Barney amounts with -- norms. It's important fire and EMS responders maintain a good relationship with law enforcement. And utilized the unified command approach to responding to these type of situation. Fire and EMS responders. Should always operate in a two man or buddy team when responding to these top abolish civil unrest events. They're -- type of what are described as -- all responses to these events put -- amounts wanna -- high profile response. The other is a low profile response -- high profile response. Who acquire the party amounts utilized all the personal protective equipment and -- we're clearly marked. That's helmets hats jackets whatever material they have -- within a father inspired -- responding to it from the scene and on the scene. A low profile or nontraditional response -- party amounts involved special operations which includes technical medics. Cutting in extracting. Protesters. Law enforcement support. -- hazard assessment teams or any other special operation we're -- she may not want to have their names and -- identified. On their best -- coveralls. During these type of offense the MS may need to adopt. A -- construed and load your response to remove or extract Haitians are injured personnel from these immediate areas. Barney and I think she's. Should check their problems -- procedures -- when -- -- allowed to do a rapid load and -- response. On removing the victim from the scene without having conducted a patient assessment. -- MS personnel should recognize when verbal abuse could possibly lead to violence. Also persons or persons who -- intoxicated. May confuse. Far partisan managed. To being law enforcement officers. This confusion could -- these individuals to react violently to the presence of fire and EMS personnel. And some areas are jurisdictions just responding to the scene of an -- -- and leaving your flashing lights on May draw a crowd. This will depend on the situation. And the jurisdiction. Even -- the crowds that may form. -- an incident in your jurisdiction or not our style and -- mutual aid community that you may respond to these crowds could become violent very quickly. Always be cautious of large -- mixed with alcohol. And if you arrive on the scene of an answer that. And the people that you're making contact with -- or belligerent intoxicated or borrowing you're not obligated to -- that scene. Until it has been secured by law enforcement. For -- apartments. In -- 15106. Dash seven states that fire departments. We'll have plans in place on how to safely and effectively respond to all -- involved situations including civil and around. -- mixed with alcohol domestic incidents and other violent situations. You're right you may not believe that this topic applies to them but it's very important that you do plan and train for these tough situations. For several reasons. One of the incident could -- -- jurisdiction -- could occur -- -- surrounding jurisdictions that you may respond to help with. Also would be important during -- training -- your -- you reach out your local law enforcement to -- that networking capability with them and last you're -- may enjoy this training. During a civil unrest or -- approach. A situation. For several things that will need to happen number one fire wall -- EM out. All share some of the same priorities. Like safety and influence stabilization. During an accident. Planning an interagency cooperation are very vital to these events. Now law enforcement may need fire and -- coverage and their support during the response these situations. Also law enforcement may need to support party have mastering situations. Firefighters may need to extract her extricate. Protesters for blocking mechanism devices such as bicycle -- And the -- may need to provide tactical medic. To support small portion operations. So as you can see there are several key things that will need to happen that war choir entering through cooperation. First -- should also recognize that these events can occur for a variety of reasons are not just limited. Larger urban areas -- can include several different situations. Such as. Peaceful demonstrations and protests that turned confrontational. Violence related to major sporting events. Concerts -- block party event that turned violent. Community based -- Such as racial tensions and a specific area and -- political events art conventions that can turn violent. Few other major factors acutely through events in your jurisdiction depending on where you're located in the United States. Can include spring break events and rock concerts. It's important that party -- SATs. Note that at one time and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Issues and intelligence -- it. Bulletin reference tactic used during protest demonstrations. That have -- law enforcement agencies but a lot of protesters and demonstrators. -- planning process in place to prepare for these events they were using training camps. They're using improvised weapons. They're using their own communications. And they were targeting law enforcement agencies so from safety standpoint it is important -- -- -- agencies. Recognize that this information has been provided. That's part -- planning process it's important. That you request this information from your local law enforcement agencies as a briefing to help you -- -- planning and preparation for these events. One current and emerging threats you may have heard of recently in the news what's referred to think black -- -- blacked blocked. The collection of an -- groups that are come together and organize for -- Pacific protest. They're typically held in reserve. And other locations away from the protest and may show up to disrupt -- cause problems in the event that's important to remember a black bloc. Is a tactic and not an organization. If you're planning for -- event are responding to an event and you hear the term black -- used. On the fact that there is a black bloc in the area it's very important remember that this could lead to a volatile situation. At some of the black bloc members they come from other communities outside your area. Some of these groups may have actually no interest. And the reason all the politics involved with the protests that is occurring their primary focus is becoming called bonds are destructive. Experience with past civil unrest involved protests have showed us. A few key items number one. Pre planning is critical -- there's going to be a planned event in your community. Number two immediate interagency cooperation. Unified command is important have a safe and successful response. To the event. Number free. Clear communications are necessary for effective response -- this involves -- Personal communications. And radio communications. Also access to helicopters -- -- assessment. Is a plus. If you have access to that resource. Also -- empty trash dumpsters and trash cans in the area. Since they are very easy targets for arson during one of these situations. There are several tactics that protesters have used in the past that we need to plan for protesters can't be organized and you such tactics. Such as safe houses in your community surveillance on public safety agencies and their own internal communications. With radios -- -- -- They've also targeted law enforcement by using super soaker play guns. Squirt guns to spray ammonia gasoline or other chemicals. A law enforcement. Also bulk -- cocktails can be a serious fire hazard that we do need to plan for them. Protesters will also utilized rocks bricks bottles cans -- work. Against public safety agencies -- also used improvised devices such as sling shots or wrist rockets. QBBs and marbles tort law enforcement. In the past. Some of these same threats. Such as the super soaker guns the wrist rockets from sling shots in the bricks of the bottles have been used against fire and EMS responders. There's several other protester tactics that foreign investment agencies need to be aware of one of these is called the human chain and this is accomplished through the -- locking -- arms legs and bodies and used to quickly blocked. Streets and intersections. That may also at chains that are locking devices. Through this in a locking of arms and legs which may complicate the response. And removing protesters. Also they will use locking devices. Such as devices that consist of steel and plastic. PVC pipes. To lock their arms in the pipes. Also buckets. Bicycle lock drums and other devices will be used to anchor individuals. To each other -- solid objects. During these responses. Fire departments will be called upon to assist law enforcement in removing these protesters. From these locking devices in a safe manner. If you believe that this type of threat. Could occur in your community based on the environment which is a college or political events important thing to do is to form a special team that a false fire -- -- -- law enforcement and look at the legal requirements. The equipment the personal protective equipment that may be involved in this operation of extracting these protesters. There are some other situations that will also come up during civil unrest or violent protests situation. These include the protesters. Placing its. Suspicious packages and critical infrastructure areas and calling -- threats to disrupt. Normal operations. Also during these events 911 calls -- no one's -- will be overwhelmed with those and I want colts will go. During the Los Angeles riots two firefighters were shot and seriously injured during the bin harbor Michigan -- -- firefighters. Were injured by thrown debris so again it's important remember that far in the Immelt can't be targets of violence. Some other important factors to remember during the civil unrest -- protest situation include. Immediately extinguished any small -- different when possible because they become a method of gathering larger groups of individuals to one area so let's try to extinguished even small fires as soon as possible. Also passed -- vintage. You've shown us we need to secure. Construction sites. In the area protestor they -- since they contain rocks bricks concrete barrels and other materials with the protesters. Can use against. Public safety agencies. And past events violent protesters. Have filled barrels of water -- and -- -- them down -- towards law enforcement and response agencies. Also it's always important to remember that alcohol is a significant contributor to violence during these events. And sports and concerts events alcohol consumption. Has escalated violence. And increase the number of injured personnel that you may have to deal with -- if you have a planned event in your community. Are you have a spontaneous event that occurs that may go on for several hours or days you will need to -- very true local emergency operations. And -- that this will allow you to bring in all the key agencies. -- -- in -- long term vaulting -- environment to assist with response. Recovery and management of the situation. Also you'll need to activate your local joint information center or your chick. Because you'll have multiple media outlets responding to your site. So we need to get our public information officers into that -- provide them with updates and briefings. The public information officers for your agencies will provide a credible pool to help you during the response one keeping the public. Updated of what's happening. Number -- telling the public to stay out of the impact areas and three correcting any misperceptions. Our concessions on how you're responding to the incident. There's several key issues from a medical considerations. Standpoint that we need review. Number one -- -- may be the only party have -- Staff allowed in the warm our -- -- of an event to provide care to the wounded and to the responders. You have asked again may need utilized -- cute and -- go from the incidents -- -- remorse. You're area. They may also need to establish. Casualty collection points which -- in safe areas -- areas of refuge away from the event and this is the area were all victims. We'll be brought to -- for care and triage. You have -- depending on the side of the event may need to implement their disaster procedures. Based on the number of casualties. Such as tree yards tags. Casually collection points and field treatment hospitals for the care of minor injuries. From the medical considerations standpoint it's very important that you and -- local hospitals. And planning for these events especially when you have a large crowd. A large number of people showing up that they need to do some internal planning and preparation. And work with the eventually -- An excellent resource that can be used by all public -- -- agencies including far. -- and that's law enforcement is the use of specially trained tactical medics. You can assist in the planning for these events dealing with the events are responding to these spontaneous and tackle medics are specially trained and equipped firefighters and medics. Who provides specialized casually medical planning response -- support to law enforcement agencies during one of these situations. Practical medics can't provide care to wounded citizens. Am primarily to provide support and care for -- law enforcement responders when they are dealing with the volatile protest situation. If you're excused interested and -- medicine there are several resources available for you that you can basically go on line and searched. -- talk your local law enforcement agencies as are several different training and certification programs available to you the most important thing about tactical medics. If they have trained with the local law enforcement they're familiar with -- tactics procedures. And personnel. One consideration that fire and EMS responders may not typically train on this difference between cover and concealment. If you find yourself in the situation. We're debris rock involved rocks and bottles are being thrown at you need to know the difference between cover and concealment and cover which is hardcover. May protect you from -- involved the concealment. -- you without offering any -- protection. So if you find yourself in these situations you obviously need to find cover. -- -- Cover may include the fire truck and ambulance -- vehicles. They building concrete walls. While concealment may be -- bush. And you have to know the difference between the two of those from safety standpoint. Some other considerations for foreign -- the amounts include. Extra staffing. During before and after an event. And the staging of additional equipment and personnel to support your community in the response. Mutual aid agreement should be implemented during this incident. Also from a personal protective equipment standpoint. Our personnel should wear four PP at all times. On scene and responding to and from incidents that they find themselves in the midst of a civil unrest that there this also applies. The EMS personnel. One example is during an actual incidence that you're driving from calling you to call -- -- need to keep. Your bunker gear their helmets and other personal protective equipment on as you dropped through the impact area that's -- past events. Responders have been injured even while traveling in their response vehicles. That personal protective equipment. Resource that -- -- have to look at is your next vacation here to your agency or state require some type of personal protective equipment. For EMS agencies to -- during an education. This can include. Heavy duty coveralls. Heavy duty education -- And a helmet and our protection if so this is some of the PP either -- -- -- -- during a civil response. The fire and EMS tactics to can be utilized. Conclusion again tried to obtain ballistic body armor for those responding into the impact area of -- response. Also fire trucks it's a good idea let's remove axes. Who -- and polls and letters from outside of your fire apparatus. -- -- past events these were stolen or used as weapons against the far personnel. One option. This placing duct tape -- the windows of your response vehicles. In -- next. Some type of heavy tape as the next may prevent the glass from shattering if an object that's thrown through the window. But can always operate in a buddy team a two man team when you're responding to these situations. And never leave your far apparatus pump. Panel operator alone during an actual far operation. Ballistic body armor can be used for other threats beyond bullets thrown object sling shots BBs bricks bottles. Ballistic body armor can protect you from these other threats. Some fire department specific tactics. The need to be considered during a civil unrest event included -- -- -- latter company operations. -- lessons for life safety is this can expose the far -- to gunfire and other threats. Also no lettering of structures or personnel on the route again you re only do this for like safety rescue operations only because this will expose the -- fighters to -- -- part of -- threat to have at past events. No interior -- fighting. We would only do this again for life safety and rescue only defensive operations only short -- employees. Rapid attack and quick -- may be necessary if you find yourself in the middle of a civil unrest situation. No overhauling of the scene and employee hit and run tactics. Especially during smaller farms such as vehicle don't -- trash fires. These tactics are not part of our. Standard operating goblins of procedures and only use. During the extreme threat environment of -- civil unrest of them are violent protest. If possible fire departments you should deck guns. -- possible for our farming operations during -- civil unrest but that. That may also be necessary for Barney -- to abandon the scene very quickly depending on what the situation is. Be prepared also Italy vehicle and trash -- -- -- if the situation warrants again this will depend. All the situation. Fire and EMS must also prepare for massive decontamination. Of protesters. And -- you may be exposed to large amounts. The law enforcement chemical agents such as -- -- CN NC yes. Responding to any -- of these situations. Will require. Far and he amassed you have a law and. At these events can be unusual for part of -- thinks -- deal would have. You need to find out what legal requirements or justification you may have available to you and planning and responding to these events. When can you let a fire just burned unattended. When can you not treat a patient and can officers. And far -- defend themselves you probably need to look at your local jurisdiction. -- your local assistant district attorneys and see what requirements are necessary for you to me. More important things -- you should work with. In your planning and preparation. For a civil unrest and then -- your department of public works they can help you in a lot of different ways. Including the removal of the trash cans of doctors we talked about you may need utilized -- heavy truck you may need additional barricades. The department of public works. Both the local level county level the state level may be an excellent resource for you. One important consideration. Is that budget and financial planning for these type of events if there -- going to occur. If you have a planned -- in your community he may have more time to prepare for this and look at the budget constraints that may occur. Some of the considerations -- man hours over time. Calling for additional resources and support you have some options -- number one -- your mutual aid agreement to call for help in your community. -- need to make sure your mutual -- agreement is up to date and clear on this. You have another support available through what's called. The emergency management assistance compact for your local -- state emergency management agencies. Also -- -- town declares a state of emergency or even a disaster declaration what exactly does this mean. How does -- impact they civil unrest and this may allow you to bring in over time. Can open up additional budgetary money and funds that was not available -- you so obviously financial budget considerations. We'll help you in your planning and preparation process. Pretty unfair. Multi agency planning it's very important to these events and planning for these events and it's safe manner part of this will be. Which hospitals will be involved -- local -- -- been involved. We have to use -- outlying hospitals. Do they know this have you contacted them this is all part of the small things you planning process. Also -- mutual aid agreements. You may have standing mutual aid agreements in place. But how long would take those resource to get to you also that this is a widespread event these other jurisdictions. May need to look to their own needs first. Before they support you so that's part of this planning. -- and -- planning process you trotting much along these questions prior to the event occurring. An excellent agency at the local accounting the regional state and even the federal level to help you have all -- -- planning and preparation. Will be your -- -- have an office they already have the context to all these key agencies who have already been involved in the planning process. The vulnerability assessment or have access your community disaster plan. We'll have access to your emergency operation center. So you're -- humanity. Needs to be a key partner during this planning process. It's also important to find out if you're gonna have what's called an NS -- a national special security event in your community. These involve -- -- such as the Republican National Convention the Democratic National Convention. The G-8 summit and other large scale events that federal resources. Will be involved and if your community -- and in SS EU will be planning. And preparing for a -- the amount of time prior to the event occurring and you'll have access. Through a lot more resources than you normally would such as federal and military assets. If you have additional interest in this topic for -- him at third two excellent. No cost programs available to the Department of Homeland Security. Center for disaster preparedness the first course this field force command and planning which addressed the command and control of these events. From a number -- operations and -- in command approach standpoint the second course is the field force. -- -- -- -- -- Which provides information. On extracting protesters faithfully. From these devices that they are using to lock themselves together. Or just -- -- -- there's for more information on the link and been provided for you these are through the center for domestic prepared. Both of these courses -- at no cost to your agencies. And you have two options. You can go to Anniston Alabama to attend the training. Are the center for domestic preparedness provides mobile training teams and they will come -- your jurisdiction. Preparing for these situations. For additional reference material for Barney amass the federal avert humanity. Or FEMA have to excellent report that you can access to the FEMA dot gov website the first one it's called. The task force report on dealing with civil unrest events. Which was put together by a multi agency task force the second -- technical report on the 1996. Saint Petersburg Florida riots which addresses. Far and -- that's planning and response to that event and lessons learned. Two additional resources that are available to you. You just text material -- want the first responders critical incident field guide. -- Red -- publishers which does discuss civil unrest planning and response. And the book Connell went following throughout the Jones and partly. Which addresses Barney -- planning for these type of -- One final resource that is available -- -- agency and planning and preparation for one of these events is to reach out to any community in -- state. Or surrounding states that has been -- any type of violent. Protestors civil unrest is that they can provide you along the information they learned in the lessons learned. To help you and -- planning and preparation.

Related Videos:

  1. Marijuana Grow Operations, Part 2

    Part two of this free training program from Firefighters Support Foundation details the nature of indoor marijuana grows and describes the very real but under-appreciated dangers associated with them.

  2. The Poltiics of Safety

    Frank Ricci discusses politics and its impact on firefighters safety and staffing issues.

  3. Vehicle Fires: Assessment and Response

    Larry Holloman, retired battalion chief from Winston-Salem (NC) Fire Department , discusses response to vehicle fires.

  4. Response to Gunfire

    This Firefighters Support Foundation program addresses the types of gunfire events that first responders may find themselves at, what their actions should be to protect themselves, and what to do while waiting for SWAT to arrive on-scene.