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Training First Responders for Active Shooter Response

Posted by John Cohen, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis and Counterterrorism Coordinator

Today, the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) joined the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento first responder community for a demonstration of the pilot Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (EDGE) virtual training platform—a system designed to train first responders across multiple agencies, disciplines, and jurisdictions in real time on complex emergency response scenarios.  EDGE allows multiple individuals across the first responder community to to train on a simulated virtual emergency by simply by logging into the secure EDGE system from a personal computer. Today’s demonstration involved an active shooter scenario, and participants from Sacramento law enforcement, emergency medical services, fire, unified command and dispatch  joined in today’s training and demonstration.

The EDGE virtual training platform is a new technology representing one of countless partnership and training efforts between DHS our Federal, State, local and private sector partners—enhancing preparedness efforts for our first responders and ensuring that our nation is more safe and secure.  DHS offers a broad set of tools to help law enforcement and private sector partners prepare for active shooter scenarios. The DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate Office of Infrastructure Protection and FEMA provide active shooter trainings across the nation .  Additionally, the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice have expanded access to federal training on active shooter situations for law enforcement and first responders with additional outreach, new online resources, improved training curricula, and exercises with law enforcement at all FBI field offices.

As a part of the Administration’s comprehensive efforts to prevent gun violence, DHS in partnership with the FBI and the Departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services, has already taken significant steps to improve preparedness.  In January, DHS officials joined FBI and state and local law enforcement officials from around the nation to solicit input regarding prevention and response efforts. This input informed the Administration’s work to create model emergency planning guidance for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education, which were released in June.  The White House progress report and emergency management planning guides are available here. Our efforts are ongoing and we are always working to incorporate new information and mitigate potential threats.

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