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Responder News: InterAgency Board Issues Guidance on Improving Active Shooter Response

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Responder News: InterAgency Board Issues Guidance on Improving Active Shooter Response

Release Date: 
December 10, 2015

Active shooter and hostile events are occurring in greater frequency and severity. They nearly always require a multi-disciplinary response – law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services (EMS). While in the past these disciplines could operate and respond independently, present day events require a fully integrated response system. The InterAgency Board (IAB) recently published its “Improving Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response” report, which provides best practices and recommendations for integrating law enforcement, fire and EMS.

Group of police men demonstrating IAB active shootingThe report’s recommendations are a direct result of the Active Shooter Summit held by the IAB in March 2015. The summit brought together first responders representing local, state and federal agencies (including the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Health Affairs and Office of Infrastructure Protection Emergency Services Sector); academia; public health agencies; and international first responder partners.

Summit participants worked together in five focus areas:

  1. Policy
  2. Planning
  3. Medical, rescue and equipment
  4. Training and exercises
  5. Incident command

This report distils the summit’s nearly 30 recommendations into 10 overarching best practices. The essence of these is to:

  • Encourage a better understanding of roles, capabilities and core competencies among first responders; and
  • Promote effective communications and coordination through integrated planning, training, exercises, response and mitigation.

The IAB was founded in 1998 by the Department of Defense’s Consequence Management Integration Office and the Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Investigation Weapons of Mass Destruction Countermeasures. Its mission is to strengthen the nation’s ability to prepare for and respond safely and effectively to emergencies, disasters and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive incidents.

For more information and resources on active shooter and hostile event response, see the IAB website.

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