The First Responders - Wide Edit { 66 images } Created 30 Nov 2016

“Police! We’re coming in,” someone screams, as two officers enter a small room. Threadbare couches mold next to stereos stuffed into chipboard furniture, and junk shop paintings hang crooked on off-white walls.

Gunshots sound under the low ceilings of training facilities, as attackers are found. Brass shells fly upwards and ping off metal joists. The target, a life-size poster of an armed man absorbs the rounds in a neatly perforated pattern.

Medics shuffle in, hunched and huddled behind more armed police. Under flashlight they split into groups, moving toward the injured – a medical mannequin slumped in a corner, a large pig trachea for surgical practice, and an actor faking an arterial wound.

Active shooter attacks in the United States have steadily risen for the past seventeen years. After the Columbine High School incident in 1999, the FBI began to gather data. Now the rate of attacks annually has tripled from 6.4 to 20, and in 2016 an attacker committed the worst mass shooting in United States history, at a nightclub in Florida.

Interdisciplinary training schools like ALERRT are responding to active shooter incidents, offering a dialogue between emergency services, civilians, and survivors. Compiling data from past events, they’re forming ideas on cross-organization integration, and the broadening of skillsets. Attack survivors are providing realistic feedback on law enforcement engagement techniques, based on first person experience, and are returning to communities to lecture on evacuation, early warning signs, and infrastructural security.

With the sharing of information, and new training techniques, the ability of first responders to recognize signs, launch preventative measures, and apprehend attackers is evolving. Increasingly trainers and survivors are invited into schools, workplaces, and police departments to lecture on active shooter first response tactics, incident prevention, and defense mechanisms.
View: 25 | All