Grant for Body Armor?
As the training officer, I was just hit up with the crisis du jour: shooter scenarios and Firescope's new approach, wherein fire department personnel enter the building with Law BEFORE the scene's been secured. This is a major paradigm shift for the fire service I was raised in, and I know the first few questions that will be asked of me:
1) How much more they gonna pay me to do this?
2) Do I get to carry a weapon?
3) Are you gonna supply us with body armor?
Answers: probably nothing, NO, and I'm working on that right now.
After 9-11, money fell out of the sky for anything looked, smelled or acted like WMD or haz mat. So, with what's been happening lately and all the debate going on around it, and with this Firescope's Emergency Response to Tactical Law Enforcement Incidents making its way around, does anyone know of grants available for body armor for fire departments?
Thanks, Nicoyas Pa
As far as I've ever been privvy to anything on this topic, if you aren't armed, no business being in an active shooter zone. You're going to risk the lives of those armed LEOs that are trained and equipped to handle said situation, including armor and weapons to return fire. Would be a shame if one of them gets hit because a FF or EMT that wasn't trained or mentally prepared to be in the middle of a firefight. That's why there are SWAT medics. Same reason Combat Medics are armed and wearing armor, and trained as soldiers first. Everyone in an active shooting zone needs the ability to be protected, and also return fire to take the shooter's life in order to protect the innocents as part of their job. Now if the FFs and EMTs are going to be SWAT trained, equipped with armor, and a weapon, then have at it. But usually it's easier to teach EMS to SWAT than the other way around, hence the reason most have created the SWAT Medics. Just my .02. That and we're trying to cross-train too much that we're starting to lose the basic knowledge of each craft, and that puts everyone at risk. Only so much 1 person can do or be trained for and still be effective.
BC79er, I agree wholeheartedly. This is new to me and our area. I think it has to do with the expectation of the public, which is to say that when ther kids are threatened by a shooter, they expect Law to be proactive. That means not waiting for SWAT if you live outside a city, and that means immediate treatment for the wounded. It sounds like the new approach will be that in our smaller districts, for an incident like Sandy Hook, if two sheriff's deputies arrive, then they take action and don't wait for SWAT (twenty five minutes away on a good day), and the next arriving Law officers back them up, with medical assistance by fire at scene. And it was made clear to me that medical assistance means fire is going in with law, whether or not the scene is secured.
Like I said, it was presented to me today as that is the expectation of the public, and we should expect to see change. I have the Firescope document if anyone wants to take a look. Of course much is left to individual jurisdictions, and again, it sounds like the push will be aggressive action by law and fire together.
Part of my point is that unincorporated areas that don't have a large law force, will have to rely on Fire. Training SWAT members to be medics is not an option if the idea is committing all of your armed resources to stopping the bad guy. In the three departments I've worked for, I think it would take thirty to forty minutes to get a SWAT team to a scene in our district, so cross training isn't really the issue. Hope that makes sense.
do you have a link to the firescope document?
Sounds like wishful thinking of someone who has no clue.
someone pushing the "public safety officer concept"?
I guess it would keep folks out of the recliners if you had to go out & be multi trained for any/ all hazards.
Or it could be the thinking of folks trying to preserve their jobs by adding more responsibilities to the fire service's bag of tricks.
As far as grant funding opportunities???? Can't see that flying under the AFG radar successfully.
Pretty sure fire helmets are not bullet resistant.
That is a ridiculous proposition and is a knee jerk reaction. As a 26 year LEO/ SWAT team member/Hostage Negotiator there are so many things wrong here with this concept. First what makes everyone think that "active shooter engagement" is some new concept? For the past 14 years every since April 20,1999 (Columbine) and again reinforced by the Nickel Mines School (Amish) shooting on Oct 6, 2006 and the Virginia Tech incident on April 16, 2007 the prevailing operational SOP in law enforcement has been the use of an " active shooter engagement" strategy , not surround and wait for SWAT. Before I retired, from a small rural police department , we were practicing drills with our public schools and obtaining equipment to respond to an active shooter incident and our SOP clearly stated that first arriving officer will "locate, identify and engage any armed suspect". My firm has been securing funding for law enforcement for many years through the Bulletproof Vest Partnership, Byrne/JAG and private and corporate funding sources for the bulletproof vests, collapsible shields, rolling bulletproof barriers etc.that these agencies require to execute that strategy. During this same time I have been approached on no less than a dozen occasions for attempting to secure BPVs for EMS and fire personnel. NFPA and USFA have in the past failed to recognize or approve BPVs as FF PPE. We have only been successful in obtaining soft body armor for Tactical /Paramedics after they have been through an approved SWAT training course, have ben certified and as a result were deputized as law enforcement officers which allowed us to include them in Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program and obtain soft body armor for them. It is ludicrous to believe that FFs should be pushed into active shooter setting only to become additional hostages and in need of additional body bags. It would be like a cop saying that because he has donned a gas mask a few times, he can throw on and properly use an SCBA and man a hose inside an active structure fire... he has absolutely no business being there. He has not been properly trained and he presents a liability to those FFs who were properly trained because their attention is now divided between watching out for his butt and their own. Not all good police officers are good SWAT members either.. it takes a different mindset, additional continuous physical conditioning and countless hours of drilling to master the techniques to protect yourself, your team members and the hostages you are trying to rescue. The other thing not being mentioned here is where is all the money going to come form to pay for the additional training, equipment etc. required here. Law Enforcement is fighting now for enough money to even put soft body armor and a decent radio on each of their officers just like the fire service is fighting to have enough SCBAs and turnout gear for our members. Folks we in Police/Fire and EMS have a role to protect the public and this is our common goal working together as a team but we each wear a different hat and we handle different tasks and it needs to stay that way period. ;)
I think I need to see that document also. OSHA Compliance being one of my many tasks I don't see where this in any way conducive to employee safety.
also unless a tactical medic part of the swat team, are you going to wear body armor, bunker gear and scba all at once???? and when do you put it on every run???? how about them domestic disputes??
Here is an interesting discussion from the JEMS forum on this topic.
Don't know about anyone else but the link goes to an ad page. Tried going through just jems.com but hitting the forums link does the same thing. Guess they got jacked...
I just went to it with no problem. Link is good
Just cleared the browser, and shoots through their site to some public safety ad search page, same one as before. Not a forum member over there so maybe it's just kicking me out. Details. Either way, if bullets are flying then no reason for unprotected and unarmed responders to be in the line of fire. If the need arises and someone wants to volunteer to assist, then they can borrow the stuff. Either way if people are down in the line of fire isn't that something cops are trained to do? We did it in BCT, should be the same MO I would think. Pull the injured to cover before treatment.
I do agree that most PDs have SWAT resources much farther out and need more bodies when the fit hits the shan in incidents like this, but that's the same mutual aid issue as FDs have: have a preplanned response since not everyone has all of the resources to respond appropriately. County I grew up in made a regional response team out of it, trained enough officers from the county departments that there should be enough on duty each shift, and equipment is centrally located for response when needed. HazMat team for the county is the same way. Taking untrained personnel and putting them in situations where bullets are flying is never a good answer. After all the vests only protect the torso, not the other parts of the body that can get hit. Training is what reduces the risk of the rest of the body getting hit, and we have enough Fire and EMS training that isn't getting done now, don't need more topics to be half-*****ed. That's already what gets people killed in this business.
Here is the draft version of the Firescope document I received:
Tactical law enforcement incidents present unique challenges to responders that may include: an active shooter, a barricaded suspect, a hostage situation, or a high-risk (known felon) warrant service, and possible terrorist acts. Tactical law enforcement incidents have the potential to result in serious injury to law enforcement officers, fire department personnel, EMS responders, the public, and/or the suspect(s). Depending on the tactics employed and the actions of the suspect(s), these incidents can also result in explosions and/or hostile fires. These incidents require unique planning and Standard Operating Guidelines (SOG).
• Development of Standard Operating Guidelines/Policies.
• Develop communication interoperability with EMS, Law Enforcement, or any other cooperating agencies.
• Identification of the different work zones within the incident.
• Identify Target Hazards and key components to each; control rooms, master keys, card swipes, isolation corridors, maps, and internal communication systems if applicable.
• “Soft Targets” are identified by law enforcement as bus/train stations, hotels, hospitals, theaters, concerts, shopping malls, schools and airports.
• Identify and train different operational tactics and strategy. Develop joint training with cooperators to validate guidelines/policies.
• Scope of work.
• Assess risk versus gains.
INITIAL DISPATCH CONSIDERATIONS
• Call and confirm type of incident- shootings, stabbings, domestic violence, bombs, IED’s/response.
• Verify scene security.
• Appropriate PPE, including helmets and protective body armor.
• Any identified hazards, threats, or intelligence.
• Identified Staging, Command Post locations, access/control points, or any identified perimeter.
• Appropriate response routes identified.
• Identified communications plan.
• Determine protective actions status and needs.
• Law Enforcement contact person or Liaison with phone number.
• Determine overhead and resource needs.
• Agree on resource ordering process to be followed.
• Obtain briefing from law enforcement upon arrival and develop the ICS organization as necessary.
• Establish Unified Command (Reference fog manual 420-1, chapter 6-Unified Command).
• Establish and communicate leader’s intent.
• Determine if “Force Protection” by law enforcement is needed to make entry.
• Coordinate with local law enforcement to confirm type and location of threat.
• Obtain current incident status and threat assessment.
• Is protection by law enforcement needed to make entry (Force Protection)?
• Ensure Law Enforcement protection is assigned to all groups or functions as needed.
• Determine resources currently assigned, requested, and locations.
• Determine the number of suspects/threat, status.
• Determine the number of victims/hostage(s), status.
• Identify Incident potential.
• Identify zones and perimeters.
o Do not get fixed in on concentric circles surrounding a crisis site, the zones might be discontinuous depending on shooter or threat locations.
• Identify incident objectives.
• Is a “shelter in place” or “evacuation” strategy going to be implemented?
• Number and location of sorting areas for evacuees.
• Confirm communications plan.
• Establish appropriate escape route(s).
MEDICAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
• Determine appropriate location for staging of medical resources.
• The staging area should:
o Provide rapid access to the incident location.
o Provide rapid egress with patients - Develop Extraction Points.
o Be located outside the view of the incident location.
o Be located separate from the law enforcement staging area.
o Identify and secure Landing Zones (LZ’s) as needed.
o Firefighting equipment cached in case of fire
o Consider requesting Law Enforcement Security
• Verify ambulance transport capability. Order additional units as needed.
• Notify the appropriate medical authority.
• Determine status of local medical facilities, drawdown or diversion.
• Develop ambulance loading ingress/egress traffic plan.
TACTICAL MEDICAL TEAMS
• If Tactical Medical Teams are present, receive a briefing from them and determine their possible needs.
• Depending on complexity, multiple medical teams may need to be deployed around incident.
• ENSURE ALL PROTECTIVE BODY ARMOR IS DONNED. Private ambulance vs. fire department. Determine appropriate level i.e. Protective Body Armor.
• All emergency medical care performed by Tactical Medical Team members will conform with local Patient Management Protocols and guidelines as scene safety allows. If no Tactical Teams are available, patients will either be brought to fire department EMS personnel or treated upon the establishment of a safe zone with Force Protection.
• Injuries to Tactical Officers: The tactical officer’s medical information card will accompany the officer.
• The Tactical Medic will accompany and act as the patient advocate during their medical treatment to the cold zone (Outer Perimeter).
FIRE SUPPRESSION GUIDELINES
• Is scene safe or clear to make entry?
• Defensive vs. offensive fire attack- measure threat level.
• Will law enforcement accompany fire crews?
• Location and status of occupants.
• Risks of ammunition or explosives under fire.
• Should fire resources be pre-staged for use of flash grenades?
• Decontamination of victims and or fire personnel secondary to exposure to pepper spray, flash bangs, nuclear or biological chemicals under fire.
• Multiple staging locations - pre plan water sources and routes into incident for water supply.
ZONES AND PERIMETER
Area wherein a direct and immediate threat exists. A direct and immediate threat is very dynamic and is determined by complexity and circumstances of the incident. Examples of direct and immediate threat are active shooters, and unexploded ordinances. Could also be classified as the (Inner Perimeter) by law enforcement, an area within the range of active gunfire or secondary devices (IDLH).
Is that area wherein a potential threat exists, but the threat is not direct or immediate. An example of this is unknown location of suspects in a given area already cleared, but could be reached by gunfire. Fire department resources may be requested to enter into warm zones, but should only be done with armed escorts or in accordance with your local fire department policies. These instances could be utilized for rapid extraction of multiple victims or officers down who need immediate assistance. Ideally any area reachable by gunfire should be still designated by a HOT ZONE. Prior to entering into a warm zone a risk vs. gain analysis should have been completed.
Is that area where no significant danger or threat can be reasonably anticipated? This could be achieved by distance, geographic location or inaccessible areas from the incident. The cold zone is the location for staging of resources, ICP, treatment and transportation of patients. Could also be classified as the (cold zone) (Outer Perimeter) to law enforcement.
Cover and Concealment:
When the terrain does not provide natural cover and concealment, you must prepare your cover and use natural and man-made materials to camouflage yourself, your equipment, and your position.
Actions taken to prevent or mitigate hostile actions against personnel.
From reading the document you provided, I think there is a disconnect somewhere. The part the mentions body armor deals with "tactical medical teams". That to me means fully trained SWAT medics. Not your regular medic in body armor. As matter of fact, the document addresses this -
If no Tactical Teams are available, patients will either be brought to fire department EMS personnel or treated upon the establishment of a safe zone with Force Protection.
Whoever is trying to mandate this to you and your department needs to be made aware that a "tactical medical team" is a specialty that requires a lot of extra training. This very document actually supports the current thought of trained professionals bringing the victims to a safe area for the medics to do there job. The idea that we can have unarmed, untrained fire and ems personnel respond into an active shooter scene is ridiculous. The recent events in Southern California shows what can happen to trained law enforcement officers even with training and body armor.
Originally Posted by JAM1096
My take exactly, this is pretty much what we have been using for many years now si with Tactical/PM on the SWAT team as a member and he is armed and suited up properly.
Just explain to the white hats that think this is a good idea, they need to be leading the charge from the front of the line entering the warm or hot zone.
Tell them to re-read what that document says about specially trained & outfitted tactical teams.
This whole thing sounds like the work of a cubicle rat who's never been outside the office. A REMF
There is a saying in the military:::TABBOMA