Kathryn Brinsfield, Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs
As part of our mission, the DHS Office of Health Affairs works to ensure that first responders around the nation have the tools, information and resources they need to respond to incidents in their communities. In recent years, improvised explosive device (IED) and active shooter incidents reveal that some traditional practices of first responders need to be realigned and enhanced to improve the survivability of victims and the safety of first responders caring for them. To this end, OHA has drafted and released the “First Responder Guidance for Improving Survivability in Improvised Explosive Device and/or Active Shooter Incidents” to help address this issue.
OHA was supported in this effort by the White House, and partnered with several federal agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Justice and Transportation, to develop these recommendations. Based on best practices and lessons learned from civilian and military incidents, this guidance focuses on the medical response to IEDs and/or active shooter incidents with recommendations for hemorrhage control, personal protective equipment, and response and incident management. The recommendations presented will help to save lives by mitigating first responder risk, and improving the emergent and immediate medical management of casualties encountered during IED and/or active shooter incidents.
In February 2014, DHS brought a variety of first responder groups together so that unique solutions and perspectives that work for each community could be discussed and considered for adoption. Representatives from state and local fire service, law enforcement, emergency medical services, emergency management, and a number of federal organizations participated in subject matter expert presentations, as well as panel and group discussions, on response to IED and active shooter incidents.
I hope that all first responders will find the guidance beneficial and apply pieces of it to their communities.
For more information or to obtain a copy of the guidance, please visit http://www.dhs.gov/publication/iedactive-shooter-guidance-first-responders.