On Episode #121, Rich Klein was joined by Bill Boyd (Bellingham, WA) and Rodney Smith (Arlington-Fort Worth, TX), who discussed trends for 2017 in emergency management. The show touched on active shooter situations, natural disasters, fires and the use of technology in improving disaster/emergency responses among first responders.
Rodney Smith, program coordinator for Tarrant County Fire Training Center and coordinator of the Arlington, TX Fire Department for Special Operations and Homeland Preparedness, said in an active shooter situation, the goal is to get students outside of a building so law enforcement can deal with the shooter. But in tornadoes, the building might be the shield that protects students and faculty so the training for that kind of natural disaster is different.
Bill Boyd, a retired fire chief and public information officer in Bellingham, WA, said he expects to see more integration of tactical medical teams with law enforcement in active shooter situations in 2017. Boyd, a former Type III Incident Commander for the Northwest Washington Incident Management Team, added that fire department paramedics and EMS used to await injured patients after active shooter scenes were secured but that today more paramedics are not going into the danger zone to save lives of gunshot victims.
Smith and Boyd explained that the use of drone technology has made a huge difference in the ability to see areas of concern in situations like wildfires and communicating visually and quickly back to emergency leadership about what resources are needed most urgently.