Incident Management

Free Active Shooter Training: The Rapid Response and Treatment Model

by August Vernon / June 13, 2014

In light of the recent spate of active shooter incidents, I want to remind public safety professionals that the Firefighters Support Foundation (FSF) video program, Active Shooter Response: The Rapid Treatment Model, is available free of charge by download. This 30-minute video program and accompanying 29-slide PowerPoint presentation compose an introduction to the third generation of active shooter response. Unlike previous approaches, the Rapid Treatment Model integrates fire/EMS with the law enforcement response, and the focus is on getting aid to the wounded within the golden hour, even while law enforcement is still clearing the structure. It allows EMS personnel to work is a safe, secured zone simultaneously with law enforcement clearing, and it does not demand complicated cross-training between agencies.

“This is probably the most important program that we’ve introduced,” says Ralph Mroz, FSF’s executive director. “The Rapid Treatment Model was developed and proven out by Sgt. Craig Allen of Hillsboro, Oregon’s police department, and Engineer Jeff Gurske of Hillsboro’s fire department.  They have spent thousands of hours of joint development and testing of the model.”

“This will be the standard response model within the next few years,” continues Mroz. "We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from agencies all over the country on this program, and we will be filming a follow-on program with the same presenters in July.” 

Unlike the standard model of response teams followed by rescue teams, or high-training approaches like TEMS or TCCC, the Rapid Response and Treatment Model allows EMS and police agencies to focus on what they already do best, and not try to make, for example, firefighters or paramedics into tactical personnel nor police officers into medical treatment experts.

The conceptual foundation for the model is that the shooter is usually dead or kills himself when law enforcement arrives on scene. The main problem at most of these rapid mass murder scenes is getting aid to the wounded as fast as possible, without waiting for the “all clear,” while keeping EMS personnel safe.