Force Protection for Fire Fighters : Warm Zone Operations at Paramilitary Style Active Shooter Incidents in a Multi-Hazard Environment as a Fire Service Core Competency
Atwater, Paul A.
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Paramilitary-style active shooter attacks in a multi-hazard environment are an emerging threat against the U.S. homeland. Lessons learned from previous paramilitary style attacks demonstrate the breaking points of the fire service policy of standing by until law enforcement declares that the scene is secure. When followed, the standby policy prevents fire fighters from taking calculated risks to accomplish the fire service mission of saving lives and protecting property. It is likely that the standby policy will be ignored when immediate action is required to save lives or mitigate hazards in areas of the incident in which the potential for violence, but no active threat exists. The optimal fire service response policy to save lives and mitigate hazards during paramilitary style attacks in a multi-hazard environment is a force protection model in which law enforcement officers accompany and protect fire fighters in the warm zone. This model is an adaptation of the successful escort model used by law enforcement and fire fighters during civil unrest incidents. As has occurred many times in the past, the fire service must incorporate a new core mission competencywarm zone operations at paramilitary style attacks.
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