Thursday, January 3, 2013
Here is an e-mail sent today from U.S. Deputy Fire
Administrator, Chief Glenn Gaines, as more than two hundred and sixty five
people have been killed in multiple death armed attacks since the Littleton,
Colorado Columbine High School shootings in 1999 through the most recent armed
attack at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
As members of the fire service we now know that
no-notice events such as Aurora, Colorado; Portland, Oregon and Sandy Hook have
and will occur anywhere, at any place, to anyone or demographic. There is not
one among us who hasn't been touched by the more recent events in Webster, New
York where firefighters became the target of a planned armed attack.
Accordingly, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) is
undertaking a study of these events in both this country and internationally to
identify risk commonalities and best practices to successfully respond to these
diverse incidents. The topical report will be released later this
month and is currently undergoing extensive peer reviews. Extraordinary efforts
on the part of local fire/rescue and EMS agencies have to be taken in order to
protect fire and EMS personnel and experience maximum success in saving
civilian lives. These events may play out over an extended period of time,
requiring large EMS triage, treatment and transportation efforts, under
dangerous and unfamiliar conditions to fire and EMS personnel.
In the interim, USFA offers these universal steps to ensure
fire and EMS personnel are best prepared to meet this unique and challenging
The most important action we can take is to determine the
lead agency for these incidents. In the vast majority of cases, law enforcement
will serve in this capacity. Regardless of lead agency declaration, make
contact with local or state law enforcement officials and special operations
team leadership to become familiar with their strategies and tactical
operations. Some possible subjects for discussion and planning follow:
•Potential roles and equipment law enforcement expects from
fire and EMS assets (e.g., forcible entry, lights, aerial devices, etc.).
•Review command, control and communications operations.
•Review of NIMS terminology along with any technical law
enforcement terminology fire and EMS personnel may have a need to know.
•A discussion of how survivor triage will occur and if law
enforcement desires training in same.
•How will injured law enforcement officers be managed? Early
on in the incident a protected area should be declared and communicated to EMS
•Casualty collection points for citizens, EMS triage and how
transportation and communications with area hospitals occur.
•What steps should be taken at high risk occupancies to
mitigate the loss of life and coordinate with first response personnel.
•Once the plan is developed, it should be exercised and
There is much more valuable information to be learned from past
events and the best practices created by those who have experienced one of
these incidents. We encourage you to go to the following sources for more
- Baldanza, M. V. (2005). Fire department response to "active shooter"
incidents. Fire Engineering. 158(9). 105-106. (requires account to
- Hamilton, S. (2012). Responding to scenes of violence. Fire Engineering.
165(9), 26+. (requires account to access)
- Ludwig, G. G. (2012). The active shooter: A special challenge - plan and
practice your fire-EMS response to mass-casualty shootings. Firehouse.
- Renaud, C. E. (2010). Making sense
in the edge of chaos: A framework for effective initial response efforts
to large-scale incidents. Master's Thesis. Monterey, California: Naval
- U.S. Fire Administration.
(2012). Fire service operations for the Southeastern tornadoes:
April 2011 (PDF, 1.5 Mb). Emmitsburg, Md.: The Administration.
- U.S. Fire Administration.
(1999). Wanton violence at Columbine High School (PDF, 2.3
Mb), April 20, 1999: Special report. Emmitsburg, Md.: The Administration.
- Vernon, A. (2012). Response priorities for mass violence incidents. Fire
Engineering. 165(6), 95-96+. (requires account to access)
- Wylie, Rob. (October 18,
2012) Fireground commentary - mass shootings. Retrieved from
here are new links from www.FireFighterCloseCalls.com
and previous links we have
provided from several recent editions of The Secret List:
FIREFIGHTER SHOT: http://www.firefighterclosecalls.com/news/fullstory/newsid/130523
FIREFIGHTER SHOT-RADIO AUDIO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKzl0hFAvUA
KY FIRE LT
SHOT AND KILLED AT SCENE: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/reports/face200411.html
SHOT AND KILLED AT SCENE: http://www.fboryanhummert.org/
PA FIRE CHIEF
GUNNED DOWN AT SCENE: http://tinyurl.com/ctuewa4
March 8, 2000 in Memphis, TN
when 2 firefighters and a Shelby County Deputy were ambushed by a Firefighter. http://tinyurl.com/bgscebn
April 24, 1996: Jackson MI: A disgruntled
firefighter shoots, killds 4 FF's in the Firehouse. http://murderpedia.org/male.T/t/tornes-kenneth.htm
July 15, 1967. Never forget
Captain Mike Moran of the Newark FD who was killed on July 15, 1967 during the
Newark riots... as he climbed a ladder to check out an automatic alarm about
one block from the quarters of Engine 11. http://partners.nytimes.com/library/national/race/071667race-ra.html
LINKS FOR Firefighters as well as Dispatchers related to similar incidents:
FFCC's Barry Furey in Firehouse)
Charlotte NC FD)
(Active Shooter Response)
(FROM Arlington County, VA)
WORD: The Rockton FPD in Illinois has sadly advised os
of the passing of long time fire service leader Retired Chief Ronald
Weavel. Chief Weavel made a huge impact in the fire service and proved himself
to be an exceptional leader, mentor and friend to the Northern Illinois and
Southern Wisconsin area. RIP Chief Weavel.
Taker Care-BE CAREFUL,
The Secret List 1-3-13/1454 Hours