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

The shootings at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech University, Aurora Theater, Newtown, Connecticut, San Bernardino, Orlando, and Las Vegas have required public safety agencies small and large to analyze their abilities to respond to 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 lethality of these events has increased 150%. Research has also found that the six 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 happened with uniformed law enforcement officers on scene when the shooting started. Clearly, fast effective law enforcement response comprises only a small part of the solution to these events.

This presentation does not only discuss active shooter events. Instead, the concept of active shooter / hostile events (ASHE) is discussed. Participants will learn about a variety of different mass violence attacks, including active shooter, mass stabbings, vehicle-as-a-weapon, explosive attacks, and chemical attacks. Although this lecture primarily focuses on active shooter events, responders can utilize the tactics and techniques taught in this course at any mass violence attack. 


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 terror-motivated shooters.


This presentation will also discuss law enforcement tactics and the implementation of fire and EMS personnel into the response plan. Many fire and EMS agencies are unaware that the Department of Homeland Security has stated that fire and EMS personnel will enter into the active shooter environment and will conduct rescues while the situation is ongoing. In addition to the Department of Homeland Security requirements, numerous other organizations state that integrated police/fire/EMS response is required at active shooter events. These organizations include the International Association of Police Chiefs, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the National Fire Protection Association, the InterAgency Board, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Hartford Consensus.


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 family of one survivor at the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting filed a $100 million lawsuit against the school district. 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. Recent court rulings have shown that government agencies are not immune from liability and that active shooter events are a foreseeable emergency that require planning and preparation. 

This presentation will discuss priorities for police, 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, 9-1-1 communications, medical care, and integration of the rescue task force.


The staff at Threat Suppression led the world by first lecturing on a need for integrated police/fire/EMS response to active shooter events in 2007. Since that time, our staff have trained more than 100,000 first responders on integrated active shooter response. In just the last two years, our staff trained more than 40,000 responders from 3,000 agencies.

This presentation is the culmination of more than 20,000 hours of Threat Suppression's active shooter research. The eight-hour lecture cites more than 600 references, with the majority from scholarly journals. This lecture has gained international recognition as the most heavily-researched active shooter response lecture available. This presentation also focuses lessons learned from the more than 75 large-scale active shooter exercises that Threat Suppression staff have designed, led, or evaluated. Threat Suppression staff have conducted walk-throughs with responders at Columbine High School, Aurora Theater, Emmanuel AME Church, Pinelakes Nursing and Rehab, Townville Elementary, Renown Regional Medical Center, Virginia Tech, Oak Creek's Sikh Temple, and several other major active shooter events.


This class is for active public safety members, military commanders, military law enforcement, intelligence analysts, hospital administrators,  school administrators, and government officials only. This class is not available to the general public.

To download a PDF document of frequently asked questions about this training, please click here. To download a PDF document on the topics addressed in this course, please click here. To download a document on hosting this course, please click here.


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


Contact Information
Phone: 800.231.9106

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Odell Tower, 16th Floor

525 North Tryon Street, Suite 1600

Charlotte, NC 28202 (USA)

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P.O. Box 57

Fort Mill, SC 29715 (USA)


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