Fire EMS

Response Priorities for Mass Violence Incidents

Issue 6 and Volume 165.

BY AUGUST VERNON Crisis situations such as school shootings, workplace violence, domestic violence spillover attacks, and other threatening situations appear to be occurring with alarming frequency. First response agencies may also find themselves being exposed to these types of situations more frequently. According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an active shooter is “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, typically through the use of firearms.” There is no single national or recognized template for the effective response to these types of incidents, but strong leadership, preparation, and training provide the emergency response community with an excellent foundation for responding to these types of incidents. Active shooters may have detailed plans of attack and lists of targets and may be prepared for a sustained confrontation with law enforcement. The length of a mass shooting incident depends on law enforcement…

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