Ep 35: Rural Response in Active Shooter Events

30:34
 
แบ่งปัน
 

Manage episode 294927301 series 2385308
โดย C3 Pathways และถูกค้นพบโดย Player FM และชุมชนของเรา -- ลิขสิทธิ์นี้เป็นของผู้เผยแพร่ ไม่ใช่ Player FM โดยมีการสตรีมเสียงโดยตรงจากเซิร์ฟเวอร์ผู้เผยแพร่ กดปุ่มติดตามเพื่อติดตามการอัพเดทใน Player FM หรือวาง URL ฟีดนี้ไปยังแอพพอดคาสท์อื่น

Episode 35: Rural Response

A discussion about how small and rural communities can respond and structure their response to active shooter events.

Bill Godfrey:

Welcome to the Active Shooter Incident Management Podcast. My name is Bill Godfrey, your host of the podcast and today's topic we are going to talk about active shooter response and active shooter incident management in smaller communities or rural communities where there's not a lot of resources. I've got with me today three of the C3 Pathways instructors. We've got with is Joe Ferrara, who has not been in for a while. Joe, it's good to see you back here. Thanks for being here.

Joe Ferarra:

Good to be back.

Bill Godfrey:

Absolutely, and we've got Adam Pendley from law enforcement. So Joe's with fire, I guess I should say that, fire EMS. We got Adam Pendley, one of our law enforcement instructors. Adam, good to see you.

Adam Pendley:

Yes, sir. Nice to be here.

Bill Godfrey:

All right. So guys, the question of the day is, and the discussion point that we want to have is for those communities out there that are smaller communities, or rural communities, that don't have a lot of depth and resources, how can they still respond to these events and structure their response in a way? And what I'd like to do just so the audience can kind of follow along is kind of follow the checklist process in terms of the flow of the thing, which is going to lead us starting off with contact teams. So Adam, talk to us about some of the challenges when you have a limited number of officers, how do you stretch those resources for your contact teams and to do the security work needs to be done?

Adam Pendley:

Sure. I think for initial response to an active shooter event, that initial contact to address the threat, one of the things we find when there's less officers working in a geographical area is this idea that there's an increased chance that you're going to have a solo officer entry. So we'll start there. Across the country, many departments are training to the idea and adjusting policy to the idea that we may have to have a solo officer entry to at least put something down range to stop the killing, to get the suspect's attention off of the innocents and maybe toward the officer so they can address that threat. So solo officer entry is a conversation that all departments, but especially those that might not have as many resources on duty at a particular time of day or in a particular geographical area, they have to consider solo officer response.

Then as that additional officer arrives, that linkup procedure and understanding how do you turn it from a solo officer response into that first contact team. And of course, when we use the term contact team, in a perfect world, we want that to be three, four, or five officers. But a contact team might just be those two officers. Both of them who are doing the security work with their weapons platform, facing the threat, eliminating the threat, somebody available to talk on the radio, and somebody... The two of them being able to kind of get that 540 degree security with each other, an extra set of eyes is always important. But that might be the entire size of your contact team. And as additional officers arrive, maybe from another jurisdiction, they know to form up as a second contact team that may also only be two officers.

So I think it's important to be creative and tactically sound and realize that as we attend training and exercises, just be cognizant of the fact that how do we change our training to address making entry into a building with just one or two officers, and how does that change the tactics a little bit. With time, more officers will arrive. And so, how do you transition to building some additional teams on top of that?

And then that gets us into our discussion, which I know we've discussed quite a bit, about the fifth man, that tactical group supervisor. And it's not always a hard number. In some instances the third officer arrives, might have to stay outside in and coordinate the resources that are eventually going to arrive instead of having all resources inside. Or some communities that we've worked with their plan is to have all on-duty resources go inside and then as additional resources arrive, hopefully one of them can extricate themselves from inside the scene and then come back out to kind of take that fifth man function. So it's very jurisdiction specific on how you get creative.

Bill Godfrey:

So Robert, I'm curious, Adam's talking about reducing the contact team size, which obviously I think makes sense when your resource is constrained. What are the implications for that in training? When you're trying to train your law enforcement guys how to work in contact teams is there a difference in the way you need to train them and in the tactics that they need to use, if it's just a couple of them?

Robert McMahan:

Well, I think the biggest difference is we're actually doing it in training and working through what it looks like to have smaller numbers of officers on a contact team. And often our rural small jurisdictions don't get the same amount of training because they don't have the trained dollars. But when you're looking ahead towards this kind of incident, you've got to make that sacrifice somehow to get that training done so they know what they're doing. Officers that are responding in these hot situations that don't have that trainer are more at risk to getting injured or killed and not solving the situation without that training. So trainings got to be the first thing that to be addressed in these.

Bill Godfrey:

Okay. So we've got a couple there on how to reduce some of the team size, looking at solo officer entry and reducing the team sizes. I think everybody can kind of nod your head and see that. Do we still need a tactical, do we still need a fifth man when we're resource constrained? What do you think?

Adam Pendley:

So, yes, absolutely. The thing that is very important to realize is that the call for help has gone out so more resources are coming and if you only have three or four deputies or police officers that are on duty and they're all inside, and we know from experience that many of our buildings, especially in rural areas, once you get inside a building, the radio doesn't work anymore. So now you have follow on resources that are entering blindly if they don't have someone outside as a guide or a gatekeeper to what's going on. And a lot of our radio systems, you'll have a car to car type function that would work well so you can have two or three officers inside and that third or fourth officer that's outside that can use that car to car frequency to establish what's going on inside to establish a strategy of some sort.

So when those mutual aid officers finally arrive, or even from a callback situation, we know in some communities, they have a plan to call officers at home and they quickly throw on a gun belt and there and out the door they go to the scene. And when that officer arrives, they really do need that tactical direction. So I'm not comfortable sacrificing the tactical group supervisor in these situations because I've said this many times, one more gun inside the crisis site might not be nearly as valuable as managing the 10 more guns that are on their way.

Bill Godfrey:

That's a really interesting point. And Adam, it kind of reminds me of the one group we work with. It was a very rural county out in the Midwest, and on a good day, they had three law enforcement officers on duty, four if you counted the sheriff, if the sheriff himself happened to be there. And they actually, after they went through training with their volunteer fire department, came to an arrangement with their volunteer fire department that all of the armed officers would go down range as quickly as possible to try to deal with the threat, and it would be the fire department's responsibility to take care of all the outside stuff, to get all the incident management positions stood up and kind of coordinate all of those other items on the checklist that needed to get done.

And then as soon as the officers that were down range felt like they had just a little bit of stability on controlling the threat and it was warm enough, they would then have one officer back out and go grab the medics to kind of bring them in. I thought that was a pretty... I thought it was pretty creative, and quite honestly, a fascinating look into the mindset of a rural community who's used to having to rely on each other and make things work. I mean, I can think of any number of city or metro agencies where the idea that law enforcement would delegate those tasks to the fire department would just be crazy. But I don't know. I thought it was pretty interesting way. Robert, how does that strike you?

Robert McMahan:

There's a lot of things that can be done to spread the workload to maybe some unconventional areas. Everybody's got some form of road and bridge that can be brought into help control perimeter as far as access at least, maybe not the security element, but they can provide that access control to the scene and around the command post and other areas. You've got civilians within your community that may be formed into groups, that may be able to be accessed to help out with some things like a reunification program.

You could get reunification on the school side, but you can also get some pieces of that from various civilian groups that come in and help staff some of those positions. So, they've got to be creative in how they can fill those things with maybe some non-commission personnel in some of those areas. And planning ahead is a big part of it because in a lot of rural areas, there's wildlife officers, there's forest service officers that we don't normally think about in these responses, and they may not even be on the channel to hear the call for help. So in the planning part of it, if they're thinking about, "Hey, there's these types of officers out in the area that we can maybe call in on." Think about calling them early on in the response.

Bill Godfrey:

Interesting. So before we get too far afield, down range on the other stuff, because you mentioned a couple of things I want to come back to, but before we get there, I obviously want to jump over to the medical side. So we talked a little bit about that initial law enforcement [inaudible 00:11:06] and the contact teams, but Joe, I'd like to tangent over to the medical side, and to me it seems there's a couple of challenges or potentially a couple of challenges here from not having enough staffing because you're a small or rural community, you've got limited access to the number of medics that are on duty. But also I've seen an awful lot of rural communities where the fire department is volunteer, doesn't have medical capability, they've got an EMS system that works very well for them, but then there's some challenges there because how do you operate when the medics are downrange, but then you also have to do transport. So Joe, can you talk a little bit about some ideas and thoughts on how to make those resources work and how to kind of plan ahead?

Joe Ferarra:

Sure. So the interesting thing about rural America is, as compared to the metropolitan areas, where you already mentioned that in metropolitan areas we tend to operate in silos, where we do our police, we do our fire, we do our EMS. But when we get out to rural America, the great thing about it is it's a whole community approach, everybody works together, whether that be volunteer fire, or a small fire department working with either a partnered private EMS agency, or a countywide EMS, and then working with law enforcement.

And take that one step further, or one other layer on top of this, in many small communities, we have public safety officers that are triple certified as police, fire, and medic, and we'll kind of circle back to that. But in the basic concept where we might have two paramedics on an ambulance and we have however many volunteer firefighters that would show up for that incident, let's just say four them show up on an [inaudible 00:13:00] initially, we're going to have to be really creative because we don't want to put those non-medically trained personnel down range with a security component and ask them to do advanced triage. But we also don't want to lose our personnel and our ambulance because the key to an ambulance on an active shooter event is that is our mechanism to get to the hospital. And without that, we're going to lose time... Great, we have an ambulance, but we have nobody in it.

So smaller communities, I think working together, maybe using your fire department as your drivers for the ambulance so you can free up one EMS personnel from a two person unit, and having one paramedic stay with the ambulance, and the other paramedic now get with law enforcement as a rescue task force, and there's your security component and your medical component going downrange and taking care of the patient, ultimately getting them into the ambulance and transport them out of there.

So there needs to be all those partnerships looking to mutual aid agreements, looking to other parts of the community. And like I said, I applaud rural America because I think they do the best job at the whole community approach because they have to, they have to have all those pieces. They don't have resources to throw at it like a metropolitan area does.

Bill Godfrey:

It's interesting, Adam mentioned earlier the idea of doing callback, and I'm kind of reminded that most volunteer departments work that way. How realistic is, do you think, [inaudible 00:14:32] on the EMS side, on the medical side, I shouldn't necessarily just say EMS, but on the medical side for a rural community or a smaller community that's got limited resources, to be able to set up some sort of callback program. Is that going to work fast enough, you think, Joe, to get some medical help?

Joe Ferarra:

I think so. I mean, for the most part, depending on the model, let's say it's a public utility model or it's a third service EMS. Certainly there's depth there because they're working in shift work similar to how fire departments work so it should not be too much of an issue to have a depth and a callback list. And then if it's a contracted third service or contracted private ambulance, depending on the size of the company, I mean, they could have regional and statewide resources that can be there from a callback perspective.

Certainly counties also should work with their emergency management because let's not forget the certificate and need process that occurs in EMS across this country. If I want to be a ambulance provider in that community, and maybe my business is normally transporting a patient from the hospital to the nursing home, the law usually requires, and it's going to be different by jurisdiction, that that ambulance be available in time of emergency. So there are other resources and that's where it's key to tap into your emergency management because they have the reach out to all those other agencies that can assist with that patient transfer.

Bill Godfrey:

Okay. So let's just kind of recap where we're at. At the basic response level we've got to have on the law enforcement side some certified, armed law enforcement officers to deal with the situation. And on the medical side, we need some trained medical people that are trained and equipped and certified to whatever level the community wants, to also be available to go deal with the situation. We've talked about a couple of ways to stretch those. So let's shift gears and talk a little bit about how to manage this and some of the ideas, robert, you started going down that road a little bit, on some of the ideas for some of the additional ancillary rules that we know need to be filled. Where do we go with that, Adam?

Adam Pendley:

Sure. I mean, once you get outside of those... That are downrange in the crisis side, there's still a lot of jobs to be filled. So let's take the command post for example. So you have your contact teams and medical and RTF doing their job. You have some sort of tactical in place, tactical triage and transport. It's ideal to have someone handling the triage group function and the transport group function separately, but that might have to be combined into one function so that you have that one fire EMS person downrange making those decisions.

But at the command post level, and that's really where you can leverage a lot of help. In many areas there's three or four law enforcement officers that are helping with scribing and helping with talking on the radio and helping doing some other things, same thing on the fire EMS side, they have a trained firefighter that's in there helping scribe and manage resources and keeping the incident commander informed. When reality, you may only have the ability to have an incident commander from law enforcement, a medical branch director from fire EMS, and then you have to train in advance to the point that Robert made earlier is these are training opportunities that you have to develop during a policy development and training and exercises, find those people that can be trained to do those jobs.

If I were running a command post in an area that has a fewer resources available, I would reach out to my civilian staff and train them on how to help as scribes in the command post, how to use the radio, how to make resource requests, how to go to the dispatch center and help answer extra calls for service that are coming in. And not necessarily calls for service, but all those calls for information that are going to be coming in. So every part of your civilian staff that works, in not only your agencies, but in the city and public works, like was mentioned, they can all be trained up to do those ancillary jobs when they're called to duty.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah. And Robert, I think you were kind of going down this road when you were talking about the perimeter responsibilities, certainly for the outer perimeter. And I know we've got one of our instructors that worked in a smaller community and she had a fairly creative way... I've worked out a deal with our public works department to respond with the garbage trucks and the dump trucks to be able to quickly close down the roads and be able to isolate an area. And while that didn't get used on an active shooter event, it did get used on a bank robbery quite effectively. I mean, are there some other ideas that stick out in your mind about where to get some other resources and be able to kind of backfill some of those ancillary roles?

Robert McMahan:

So one area that communities can consider is, sometimes they're called CERT teams, civilian emergency response teams. Other agencies have community safety volunteer programs. And if you don't have them in your rural areas, it's something that you could think about starting up getting your community involved and trained to do certain roles like traffic control and other various needs within that emergency response.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah. I think that's a great idea. Joe, you got any that jump out in your mind?

Joe Ferarra:

Yeah. One that jumps out at me and you mentioned CERT, there's another area and this is through the health department. So if the emergency management or the agency directors work with their health department ahead of time, many health departments across the country have what's called MRCs or medical reserve corps. And these are made up of, they may be retired nurses and doctors in the community, or even current and practicing ones. And they're actually in a response mode. So there's a potential there, and I'm not talking a response mode of eight minutes, advanced life support on scene, but they're going be able to support the operation. So imagine being able to get some doctors and nurses to the scene, and that's where your health department and that where it is key to work with emergency management because they have those connections.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah. And I guess in some ways... You mentioned the medical reserve corps. I mean, if you're in a smaller or a rural community, it's not just at the scene you're going to have the problem, your local hospital's going to have the problem too.

Adam Pendley:

Absolutely. And so that all ties into that personnel recall as well, that we mentioned earlier, and also your emergency management. So on both of those, remember, even if you have resources between on-duty and mutual aid that you're able to handle the incident, all of those resources are now pretty much out of service. It's a very stressful event, you may have officer involved shooting protocols that you have to follow.

And that happened in an incident that I was involved in, it involves civil unrest. We had a lot of units tied up responding to the civil unrest, and as a responding agency assistant chief, the calls I started making was for emergency recall right away because all of those units were now going to be out of service for a long period of time. And so getting that process started early is very important, I think, when you have a limited number of resources.

And then secondly to that is, again, another early call, if somebody can remember to make it very early on in the incident, is reaching out to that county emergency manager because they're going to also be able to bring some of their staff in to help with a lot of the administrative type stuff. But they have plans for trying to call in additional resources. So it's a way to get all of those things started very early on. So somebody has to make that decision and make that call very early to get that going.

Robert McMahan:

So another area that I just thought of is a lot of rural communities have some kind of incident management team, which could be another call-up resource to come in and help out with this kind of thing. And as I was sitting here, we were talking about hospitals and their resources in these communities. Remember, in some of these communities, and I lived in one before I got into law enforcement where the hospital was 60 miles away. And so it's going to take time to transport patients to that hospital, a lot of time, and so we might think about having that agreement with that hospital to fly resources to the site to get some more advanced care on the site until we can get patients transported that far away.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah. That's interesting. I mean, there's a few... I'm not aware of any here in the US, but certainly overseas, there's a few models where they have physicians and physician staff that are either assigned to the medical helicopter, or are available immediately to be deployed to the medical helicopter. It's really interesting. What strikes me about this conversation is we're talking about a lot of ideas here, and I think there's a lot of really good ideas about how to do this on the response side. But the thing that really catches my attention is, I'm not sure that you're going to do a whole lot of this at the time of the incident. This has got to be done before the bang. We're talking about a lot of planning. Where's the best place for that to occur within the community. If we've got some firefighters or some police officers, or medics that are working and serving rural America, who do they turn to to say, "Hey, listen, we need to work on this a little bit?"

Adam Pendley:

Well, I think mainly that work has to happen together. That's the first thing is you got to get everyone at the same table at the same time, but I can tell you from a law enforcement perspective, I've been called many times by local entities in the community that want to host an active shooter exercise. But that almost always involves some tactical officers demonstrating what it would look like, what gunshots would sound like as they're running down the hallway. And then we begin to treat a couple of patients, but then that's the end of the exercise.

The reality is is we need to think about everything else that's going to need to be done. And that's where the conversation really begins because honestly, most law enforcement officers in this country are ready to do the tactical part. And yes, we need training, but that's not where we need the exercise and the policy development. We need the policy development in making sure that all of these creative ideas can happen without somebody standing there and saying, "Oh, I can't do that. The policy doesn't allow it." Or, "I can't help drive that ambulance because state law doesn't allow it." That's where you have to dig deep now to answer those questions. So when you ask a public works person to use his truck to block traffic at an incident, does his union contract allow him to do that? Those are the kinds of questions that you have to dig deep and get the answers to now so you're prepared to be that creative on scene.

Bill Godfrey:

Joe, what's your thoughts? You're working as a medic in a rural community, where do you start?

Joe Ferarra:

So Adam already mentioned that it starts with the agencies, but I'll take it one step further in that. In every community and in our great country, there's a comprehensive emergency management plan. And the purpose of that is to plan for emergency response. So we start with emergency management, emergency management has the relationships, hopefully already, that they put together to design a response plan. And then you work through all the iterations of that, that may involve, "Okay, well, if the governor declares this a disaster area, can we override XYZ regulation and deal with these things?" But in my book, that's clearly a comprehensive emergency management plan function.

Bill Godfrey:

Robert, what about on the political side or the management side? Is there an opportunity with a city manager, or a county manager, or the mayor, or the elected officials to ask them for their help in opening doors and kind of greasing the wheels? What are your thoughts?

Robert McMahan:

Yes, absolutely. And these are key people that have got to get involved in this on the front end, before the bang, as you said. And figure out how they're going to enable the resources that they have to respond to this. And where the agreements are, are they in place with the hospital 60 miles away? Are the agreements in place with other resources that they've got to have to answer this kind of call?

So those political leaders, sheriffs, and I'm not even thinking chiefs of police because we're talking so small here, but maybe there is a chief of police, town marshall, county managers-

Bill Godfrey:

County judge.

Robert McMahan:

... county judge, all those things need to be brought together to figure out what these legal issues may be and what these logistical issues may be to get these agreements in place. And so everybody knows what needs to occur and that it can occur when this happens.

Bill Godfrey:

So guys, let me ask this bottom line question. So no question, this is a difficult challenge for a resource constraint community, no question about it. But bottom line, fixable and doable?

Adam Pendley:

Absolutely.

Bill Godfrey:

Joe?

Joe Ferarra:

Yes, absolutely.

Robert McMahan:

Absolutely.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah. And I think so too. In some cases you've got to be creative and it may not be easy to get buy-in from everybody, but I think there's a common need here. And it seems, if you're willing to commit to a little bit of work and plan ahead of time that it can come together.

Robert McMahan:

Absolutely. Those pieces that we teach in active shooter incident management that need to occur, these communities need to come together, these community leaders need to come together and look at that, realize what their shortcomings are, and figure out, "How are we going to get this done?" And it may not happen when that bang goes off, it may not happen as quickly as we want, but it can happen and we need to plan ahead on how we're going to do that.

Bill Godfrey:

Absolutely. Well guys, thank you so much for taking the time. I will say this, I'm kind of reminded a little bit here on the 10 part series we did on the 10 questions that the mayor or the city manager should ask their police chief or fire chief together to talk about that. If you're out there in a rural community or a resource constraint community, and you're trying to kind of figure out where to start that political conversation, you might want to revisit some of the series of those 10 questions the mayor can ask the police chief and fire chief because there was some good stuff. They can arm you with the kind of things that you can approach your elected officials with. And if you get their buy-in, they can really begin to open doors. If they didn't have relationships and couldn't open doors, they probably wouldn't have got elected in the first place. But just a thought out there for our listeners.

Robert, Adam, Joe, thank you so much for taking the time to come in guys and talk about this very important issue. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us for the podcast. If you haven't subscribed, please do so on whatever device that you consume your podcasts on. If you have any suggestions, ideas, or questions, please email them to us at info@c3pathways.com. Until next time. Stay safe.

48 ตอน