Fire EMS, Firefighting, Legal

Active-Shooter Incidents: Planning Your Response

Issue 9 and Volume 167.

BY STEVEN C. HAMILTON Emergency services organizations are still attempting to define their role in active-shooter incident responses. Each agency’s function and participation vary based on factors such as size, personnel, equipment, service level, geography, and training. No definitive levels of standards can be applied to the fire service as a whole. Major metropolitan fire departments can bring more resources to bear on a mass-casualty incident than a strictly volunteer department serving a population of 15,000 citizens. The strategy and tactics that the metropolitan department employs may not be a feasible or wise direction for the smaller volunteer department. It is reasonable to assume that higher and denser population areas will have a greater demand for emergency services. Major cities have championed emergency services response to active-shooter and mass-casualty incidents because of the size of the population they serve. However, the strategy and tactical practices these agencies have developed may…

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