Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC)

The Active Shooter Incident Management Checklist provides for an integrated response to an Active Shooter Event designed to get medical personnel to victims more quickly and then get those victims transported quickly. This should NOT be construed as a lack of endorsement for the need to provide medical training to law enforcement personnel, specifically Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC).

It is the position of C3 Pathways that ALL personnel involved in responding to Active Shooter Events, law enforcement AND fire/EMS, should be training in the TECC curriculum. The US Military has done incredible work in bringing hard-learned lessons from the battlefield into evidenced-based medicine for use in civilian response to shootings and other traumatic events (e.g. IEDs). One should absolutely NOT ASSUME that medically trainined and certified fire/EMS responders are knowledgeable in the latest procedures, equipment, or techniques. EVERYONE should get the TECC training to a level appropriate for them (e.g. basic training for law enforcement, advanced care for paramedics, etc).

Law enforcement officers will be by a victim’s side sooner than an EMT or Paramedic. It is NOT enough to simply stop the killing. We must also stop the dying that’s occurring from uncontrolled bleeding.

Should a first arriving officer move toward active shooter by themselves?

This is a significant and basic policy issue. There are arguments on both sides of the issue. There are law enforcement agencies who support and oppose a single officer making entry. Policy decision-makers must decide what is right for their community and agency. 

The Active Shooter Incident Management Checklist uses the language “Engage” as the last step for the first arriving officer. This wording was chosen to support the different policy positions that may be adopted by using communities. Policy makers should provide guidance on the actions they want officers to take based on the “Engage” task.

Rescue Task Force (RTF)

The Active Shooter Incident Management Checklist utilizes a process known as Rescue Task Force (RTF) to get medical personnel to victims quickly and get them evacuated. The Rescue Task Force is a cross-discipline team of law enforcement and fire/EMS personnel (usually 2 LE and 2 EMS). This raises potential policy issues about the concept of an RTF, for example law enforcement escorting unarmed personnel into the innner perimeter (aka warm zone). Some are comfortable with the RTF concept and some are not. There are law enforcement agencies who strongly support the practice and others who absolutely do not. The same is true for fire/EMS agencies.

Potential policy issues include escorting unarmed personnel into potential areas of risk, how/when/who will make the decision to deploy RTF resources, whether fire/EMS personnel will be outfitted with body armour, etc.

At the time of this writing, the RTF concept remains controversial. Policy decision-makers from the various agencies and disciplines in a community are strongly encouraged to have an honest and open dialog about the benefits and risks inherant in the RTF concept.