New FEMA guidelines prepare emergency responders for new crop of "complex and demanding incidents"

Blog Post created by freddurso Employee on Dec 19, 2013

Since the Columbine shootings in 1999, more than 250 people in the U.S. have been killed during active shooter and mass-casualty incidents. The more recent incidents—the Newtown, Conn., shootings last year and the Boston Marathon bombings in April—aren't any less tragic, and serve as an unfortunate reminder of the realities of modern American life.

Addressing this concern, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has released a new emergency response guide that provides an array of response tactics for "complex and demanding incidents that may well be beyond the traditional training of the majority of firefighters and emergency medical technicians." Outlined in a recent article in The New York Times, the guidelines recommend first responders safely enter areas known as "warm zones"—where they could possibly encounter an assailant—as a means to assist victims in rapid fashion.

Saving victims "in warm zones is a different risk for firefighters, but not more of a risk than firefighters already take in responding to a burning structure," Harold Schaitberger, general president of the International Association of Fire Firefighters, told the Times. His organization supports and has helped create the new guidelines. 

For more information on how NFPA and the fire service are developing an integrated approach to mass-casualty shootings, read the recent feature in NFPA Journal. In the following video, NFPA's Robert Solomon explains how NFPA is addressing mass shootings: