It is hard to believe that next year marks the 20th anniversary of the devastation at Columbine and that the Virginia Tech shootings were 11 years ago. Despite these events and many others, especially in the last decade, many questions remain regarding active-shooter incidents. Debate still surrounds a number of questions:
- Who is responsible for patient care in the active-threat environment?
- How do emergency-medical resources commit to the incident?
- Who is the incident commander and how does communication take place between disciplines?
- How long will it take firefighters, EMTs and paramedics to assemble and deploy?
- What is the appropriate number of medical-care providers needed to render emergency assistance?
- What supplies and PPE work best in the warm zone?
Regardless of the variables, it’s safe to say that as long as these incidents continue to take place, there will be a need to plan and train for a coordinated response.