Tools and Resources for the Multiagency Response
- The InterAgency Board's Improving Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response: Best Practices and Recommendations for Integrating Law Enforcement, Fire, and EMS report is a core reference on practices that should be incorporated into planning and training (InterAgency Board, 2015).
- To provide a scenario for training, the Police Executive Research Forum's (PERF's) Critical Response Toolkit for First-Line Supervisors includes a detailed mass shooting scenario in a shopping mall (PERF, undated b; PERF, undated a). The questions at the end of the scenario are especially useful to help multiagency teams develop coordinated response plans. The same resource also provides a guide to what and how to coordinate and train in advance of mass attacks (PERF, undated c).
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (Emergency Management Institute (EMI) offers tabletop exercises that are conducted virtually and includes an active shooter course on ICS in addition to shorter courses, such as the IS-907 Active Shooter: What You Can Do course (FEMA EMI, 2021; FEMA EMI, undated).
- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a host of online planning and training resources, including the following:
- a booklet on how to respond to an active shooter (DHS, 2008a)
- an online portal run by DHS's Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which provides additional guidance and resources for first responders, human resources and security professionals, private citizens, and active shooter workshop participants. The portal also provides materials on preparing emergency response plans (CISA, undated)
- FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness and its multi-university training consortium; this consortium includes the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training at Louisiana State University, which offers DHS-certified courses under the Homeland Security National Training Program (FEMA, undated a).
- The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) maintains the NFPA 3000 Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program, which "identifies the minimum program elements needed to organize, manage, and sustain an active shooter and/or hostile event response program that helps mitigate the risks, effect, and impact on an organization or community affected by these events" (NFPA, 2021).
Example: The Phoenix Exercise Model
Phoenix, Arizona, has one of the most exercised response models in the United States. The Phoenix program has been exercised 80 times, and upgrades and improvements were made after each exercise. Of the 80 exercises, all were active shooter scenarios. Several scenarios included companion vehicle exercises with explosive devices. The Phoenix effort includes a special Rescue Task Force (RTF), which places fire and police personnel in warm zones to conduct rescues of trapped and injured citizens. RTF policies have been prepared jointly and define strategic-level response expectations. The RTF has a track record of responding to hundreds of shooting and other calls. The RTF cites its joint planning, preparation, and operations as key to success.