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Joint Public Safety Response to the Active Shooter / Active Assailant™


The shootings at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech University, Aurora Theater, Sandy Hook Elementary School, San Bernardino, Orlando, Las Vegas, Uvalde, and many more have required public safety agencies large and small to analyze their abilities to provide care in hostile environments. These events have also required public safety agencies to modify their response procedures to active shooter events. Consistently, there have been 125 people killed each year in active shooter events in the United States and many more injured.


Former United States Attorney General Eric Holder stated that active shooter events have increased 600% since 2009 and the mortality of these events has increased 150%. Research has also found that the eight highest casualty active shooter events since 2000 happened despite law enforcement arriving on scene in three minutes or less. The two deadliest active shooter events in United States history occurred with law enforcement officers on site when the shooting occurred. Clearly, fast effective law enforcement response comprises only a small part of the solution to these events.


This powerful lecture will discuss many facets of active shooter response. The active shooter history will be discussed, including the constant modification of active shooter attacks based on research the shooter(s) conducted. Research of the active shooter “stopwatch of death” will be discussed, emphasizing the criticality of rapid response. The profile of the active shooter will also be explored, including predictors based on age, race, academic history, and social status. Adult active shooters will also be discussed, including revenge shooters, shooters making a statement with extreme violence, and radical ideology motivated shooters.


This presentation will also discuss law enforcement tactics and the implementation of fire and EMS personnel into the response plan. Numerous industry organizations state that integrated law enforcement, fire department, and EMS response is required at active shooter/active assailant events. These organizations include the Department of Homeland Security, the International Association of Police Chiefs, the National Tactical Officers Association, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Department of Defense, the National Volunteer Fire Council, National Association of EMTs, the Hartford Consensus, the National Fire Protection Association, and many more.


This presentation also includes a section for 9-1-1 communicators. Topics discussed included, overwhelming call volume, prioritizing calls, protocol deconfliction, “stale” calls, PSAP to PSAP interface, and much more. In addition, the presenter will discuss numerous 9-1-1 center lessons learned from events.


Numerous court cases have proven the legal liability on public safety agencies for failing to plan and respond appropriately at active shooter events. The Columbine shooting resulted in 25 lawsuits against police, fire and EMS personnel. The Virginia Tech shooting resulted in 1,200 lawsuits against police, fire and EMS personnel. The Los Angeles Airport shooting resulted in a $25 million lawsuit against police, fire, and EMS personnel. The families of three victims at the San Bernardino shooting filed a $204 million lawsuit against the county for failing to prevent and respond appropriately to the shootings. Government analysts anticipate that the legal expenses from the Route 91 shooting in Las Vegas will exceed $1 billion. In addition, the victim medical expenses from the Route 91 shooting are anticipated to exceed $400 million. The total cost of the Route 91 shooting is estimated to exceed more than $4 billion. Recent court rulings have shown that government agencies are not immune from liability, and that active shooter/active assailant events are a foreseeable emergency that require planning and preparation. 


This presentation will discuss priorities for law enforcement, fire, and EMS personnel as well as the need for integrated response. Last, lessons learned from multiple active shooter events will be discussed including, the various “scenes” at an active shooter event, asymmetric perpetrator tactics, casualty collection points, marking the deceased, tactical breaching, command and control, medical care, and integration of the rescue task force.


Several Threat Suppression personnel led the development and implementation of one of the nation’s largest joint public safety active shooter response programs in 2013, training more then 4,000 responders in Charlotte, North Carolina. Threat Suppression personnel also created, managed, or led 75 large multi-agency active shooter large-scale exercises, and 50 tabletop exercises testing joint public safety response. Threat Suppression personnel also served as deputy incident commanders at a reported active shooter event at a mall with 18,000 shoppers on Christmas Eve, 2015. One person was killed in the event and 17 were injured. Threat Suppression personnel also served as deputy incident commanders at the April 30, 2019 active shooter event at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte were two people were killed and four others critically injured.


The presenter will discuss many of the lessons learned from the development, implementation, and testing of the protocol. This presentation cites more than 500 scholarly references as well as data obtained from numerous active shooter events. Threat Suppression has trained more than 200,000 public safety providers from local, state, federal, and international agencies on active shooter response. Threat Suppression personnel have conducted walkthroughs and site visits with responders at Columbine High School, Aurora Theater, Emmanuel AME Church, Pinelakes Nursing and Rehab, Townville Elementary School, Renown Regional Medical Center, Pulse Nightclub, Las Vegas, Inland Regional Center, Sutherland Springs, Texas and several other major active shooter events.

For a course description, please click the PDF below. To download a document of frequently asked questions regarding hosting this course, please click the second PDF below.


If you would like more information on booking this course, please email, or call 1-800-231-9106.


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