Breakout Sessions

On April 30, 2019 at 5:40 PM, a former student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte returned to the campus on the last day of classes. The perpetrator went into an anthropology classroom and opened fire on the students with a pistol. The perpetrator fired 26 rounds in less than 30 seconds, killing two students and critically injuring four others. The perpetrator was stopped when student Riley Howell tackled the shooter. During a brief fight on the ground, the perpetrator fired three rounds into Riley, killing him instantly. University of North Carolina at Charlotte Police Department officers were on scene within two and a half minutes and had the shooter in custody in three minutes. During the confusion of the event, 9-1-1 callers reported additional shooters, bombs strapped to students, and other potential explosive devices. The campus has a 1,000 contiguous acre footprint, with 3,000 employees and 30,000 students. There are more than 72 buildings on the campus, including 15 high-rises. In the immediate area of the shooting, students fled to 10 different buildings, resulting in more than three million square feet of area to be searched. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte Fire Department, and Mecklenburg EMS Agency converged on the scene with a massive response. Within 3.5 minutes of the shooting, Charlotte firefighters were treating the first gunshot patient. Within five minutes of the shooting unified command was established with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Police Department, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, and Charlotte Fire Department. Within nine minutes, Rescue Task Forces entered the classroom at Kennedy Hall where the shooting occurred. Within 19 minutes, all surviving patients were transported off the scene. Within 48 minutes, the first critical patient was in surgery at the trauma center downtown, located 15 miles away. At the 80-minute mark, all three patients were in surgery who required emergent intervention. The successful response to this shooting was years in the making. The City of Charlotte began their comprehensive active shooter response program in January 2013. Since that time, more than 5,000 responders in the city were trained. The police department and fire department held 35 large-scale exercises and 20 different tabletop exercises. The fire department also created specialized tactical units that played a large role in supporting law enforcement during the UNCC response. One presenter was the second arriving fire department chief officer and served as a deputy incident commander for the event, overseeing operations in Kennedy Hall where the shooting occurred. The other presenter is the commander for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Special Operations Division and commanded law enforcement tactical operations at the event. In this presentation, the presenters will discuss the training and preparation that occurred before the shooting, the response to the shooting, and the lessons learned from the shooting. The presenters will also discuss the uniqueness of responding to a location in within the city limits that is state property. Last, the presenters will discuss recovery considerations at the university.

Since 2005, the emergency response community in Ventura County has been working towards truly integrating the response to acts of violence. In 2010 we developed a workgroup with local law, fire, and EMS agencies to develop the Rescue Task Force program. By 2013 we were able to train all firefighters within the county and a large percentage of our law enforcement and dispatchers. On November 7th, 2018 a gunman entered Borderline Bar& Grill and killed 12 innocent members of the community, including Sgt. Ron Helus of Ventura Co. Sheriff’s Office. Less than 15hrs after the shooting, 2 devastating wildfires started within the county and would eventually burn 100k acres and destroy over 1500 structures. Our entire response community should have had the time to grief and recover from the Borderline Incident but instead, were forced into action for the next 2 weeks. During this discussion we will go over lessons learned from the Borderline response, dealing with multiple, large scale incidents in a short amount of time, and peer/crisis support.

On May 18th, 2018 Santa Fe Fire & Rescue responded to an active shooter at the Santa Fe High School. The incident rapidly evolved into a multi-agency response of police, Fire, EMS, and Dispatchers from multiples cities and counties. Learning what worked and what continues to be learned in the aftermath of a critical incident is paramount for not only a multi-agency response but also a multi-agency recovery.
Will discuss discuss how re-unification with others, in my incident it was Cliff Woitena, Eric Santos, Nick Palomo, and John Barnes, can help in the healing process of a critical incident. How contact with those individuals, especially on the anniversary date have a positive impact on how you move forward after a critical incident. It will also touch on what CISM, PCIS, and peer support can offer in after care from an incident, if it is needed.

This lecture will focus on what the emerging threats are to the homeland and various ways first responders and civilians can protect it.

Session will focus on ways the Comal County Active Threat Committee has created a unique regional approach to dealing with active threats. Attendee should expect a presentation that demonstrates a unified approach to identifying, responding to and recovering from an act of mass violence. Presentation will include how this approach was idealized, realized, and practiced in Comal County and how that approach is being used in other regions of Texas.

It CAN happen to you! What are you doing to prepare, react and respond? We have all heard the phrase, “We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training.” This becomes evident when we review recent active threat events. It becomes even more evident when we review how aggressors, civilians and responders reacted under life-threatening stress. This course will use personal experience, case studies and conversation to identify areas where we can improve our ability to react appropriately under stress. These knowledge, skills and abilities can then be adapted to the unit and department levels.

The possibility of encountering violent, life-threatening events is a significant source of anxiety for law enforcement officers and educators. Moreover, our nation's police officers and educators are ill-prepared to handle the emotional consequences following such an event. This session will detail strategies which may be used in training which will lessen anxiety and fear, thus increasing the chances for survival. A framework for suicide awareness and overcoming suicidal behavior will then be presented.

Building on the SRP foundation/ OK, It Hit the Fan. Now What?

Presented by Daniel Weber and John-Michael Keyes

The SRP (Standard Response Protocol) has been adopted by schools, businesses, and first responder agencies across the country. The problem we see now is that training and conversation stops once the posters go up. Addressing best practices in turning our drills into trainings for events is the next step in the security process. This process requires addressing and reassessing our current Evacuation, Lockout, Lockdown, and Hold procedures.