SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) Preparing for an event like the domestic terrorist attack in Las Vegas isn’t easy, but it’s crucial to have a plan. To talk about that training, Matthew Mcfarland from Unified Fire joined Good Morning Utah with Brian Carlson.
During a crisis of this nature, these events tend to be over relatively quickly, but that’s not guaranteed. Usually the very first law enforcement units will be the ones faced with the active threat.
Responders have no way of knowing if there are accomplice’s or secondary threats, and have to move methodically and with caution until the scene is known to be secure.
The best chance of survival when injured during one of these chaotic scenes is going to be self care, or immediate care from another person on scene.
This isn’t an indication that Police, Fire, and EMS aren’t actively responding. It’s a fact related to the potential severity of injuries received.
Despite foresight, training, mitigation plans, and all other preparations, a large scale threat/event is going to inundate the 911 system. Additionally, it’s impossible to mitigate for every conceivable circumstance and threat.
All Salt Lake County agencies have adopted Rescue Task Force (RTF) training programs. This concept involves coordination between Law Enforcement, Fire, and EMS assets. It involves, coordinated tactical movements between agencies, with Law Enforcement acting as escorts/protection for the resources appointed to patient care and extraction.
Rescue Task Force principals have been taught to all area fire personal, and rehearsed and practiced in coordinated multi-agency drills.
Training will be on-going. Approaches and methodology are often reassessed, and when pertinent changed. This is done with input from many different sources including Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) teachings and the Utah Statewide Information & Analysis Center (Utah SIAC).
Previously employed triage protocols will be used to determine patient priority. This system of large scale response is practiced in multi-agency Mass Casualty Drills throughout the valley (Based on standardized EMS protocols), and not strictly limited to an active shooter scenario.
Situational awareness is always important. The importance of the See Something, Say Something campaign can’t be understated. Public awareness and observation’s is one of the greatest tools in preventing these tragedies. This isn’t to say that any members of the public were negligent or accountable for current or past incidents. Just an important reminder that we all can contribute to future deterrence and prevention.
As previously stated, bystander and self-care are going to be the greatest lifesaving intervention available. Educate yourself on first-aid techniques and practices, as well as CPR.
Tactical Emergency Casualty Care is an approach to first-aid in these incidents that was developed by members of Arlington Fire after the Virginia Tech shootings. Geoff Shapiro and Dr. Reed Smith developed an approach to teach the general public after being involved in the Virginia Tech incident.
Look for this course information to be offered here in Salt Lake County within the next year.