A critical response to an active shooter situation is getting EMS and firefighters into the scene to tend to the victims. A new law now makes it possible for police, fire and EMS to access grant funding to train together.
In an active shooter situation there are two parts to the response. Stopping the threat is the role of law enforcement. The second piece is getting fire and EMS inside to administer first aid to the wounded.
In a mock active shooter drill at the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at Texas State University Wednesday, all first responders worked together seamlessly. That effort came from much training and practice.
Seated in the front row was U.S. Senator John Cornyn. He recently authored a bill, now signed into law, called the Police Act. It allows for all first responders to obtain grant funding to participate in active shooter training with their law enforcement partners.
"Law enforcement, we had our paradigm shift in Columbine. We can't wait outside and wait for specialized teams to show up. First responding officers need to get in there, get busy and stop this. Fire and EMS are now saying we need to do the same thing, but we don't have body armor, we don't have weapons. So we have to as law enforcement convince them when is the right time to go in, under what conditions are safe enough,” said John Curnutt, ALERRT director of training.
Prior to the police act, the ALERRT Center could only use its federal grant funding to train police officers.
$187 million dollars worth of grant funding is available for departments who wish to participate.
"As the threat evolves it's important that we continue to keep up with it. I'm just very proud of the fact that at Texas State you saw this as a need for law enforcement and the response it has gotten and the influence it has had,” said Cornyn. “This is all about safer communities not just here in Texas, but around the country and around the world as the result of what is being done here."