Fire EMS, Fireground Management, Health & Safety

On-Scene Cooperation: Fire Department and Law Enforcement

Issue 3 and Volume 171.

By Steven C. Hamilton and Frank Ricci   The disposition of any fire service interaction with law enforcement often depends on training, relationships, and a clear understanding of the interests of those involved. Most fire and law enforcement departments need to reevaluate their training and interagency cooperation. Numerous departments have found that adjusting their response protocol not only is a good idea but is virtually required. Cooperating, not competing, is not just a courtesy anymore—it is a necessity. Over the past decade, the complexity of the incidents that we have faced—mass shootings, protests, and significant fires—are increasing. Although it is impossible to prevent all horrific events, we must be prepared to respond together to whatever hazards we will face. The key to success in response is the agencies’ ability to work together well. There’s a lot of talk but not enough communication between agencies. We want to start a dialog…

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