TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT

Depot emergency respondeers pioneer new active shooter training

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Story by Alexandria Soller on 12/27/2018
In recent years, active attack incidents have been on the rise. This year alone, statistics show there were nearly as many mass shootings as days. Plus, the number of active shooter incidents in the United States were the highest they've been in 17 years. Its statistics like these that have compelled emergency services across the nation to take steps to improve processes.

Tobyhanna Army Depot recently hosted Active Attack Integrated Response (AAIR) training, provided by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center, Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Ag++ency. Bluegrass Army Depot, Kentucky; Sierra Army Depot, California, and Red River Army Depot, Texas also attended the training conducted here in early December.

AAIR is the outcome of an evolution of emergency response procedures based on active attack statistics. The training is designed to improve how well law enforcement, fire, tele-communicator and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel work together during crisis situations.

Army Material Command (AMC) initiated the training, which is intended to create rescue task forces that could work together throughout active attack incidents. Previous practices required the elimination of risk prior to accessing the injured.

"Before we implement, we are evaluating some installations that have volunteered to be the pioneers for this program," said Charles Davis, chief of AMC Fire and Emergency Services.

Knowledge gained through years of experience has influenced a culture change in emergency services. In the past, the focus has been on stop the killing; now, law and fire will work together to ultimately stop the dying, according to training participants.

"This concept has been a must," stated James Jones, firefighter and paramedic at Red River Army Depot, referencing the impact the Columbine mass shooting still leaves nearly 20 years later.

Jones also noted that larger military installations have already rolled these procedures out, so he is enthusiastic to see the changes play out locally.

These new procedures are exciting, but they don't come with ease for all parties. As a rule, fire and EMS personnel remained out of harm's way during an active attack incident until all risk is eliminated. The added risk of entering what is considered a warm zone, in which there is no immediate risk but the situation has not ceased, is a hurdle that the AAIR training will help to overcome.

AAIR training will also provide law enforcement officers with key medical skills based on tactical emergency casualty care guidelines, which can be used to increase survival rates. These guidelines are derived from standard military procedures used in war medicine called tactical combat casualty care, which were developed in 1996 to address preventable causes of combat death by optimizing care given prior to arrival at a medical facility.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna's Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C4ISR provider of choice for all branches of the Armed Forces and industry partners.

Tobyhanna's unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, post production software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to joint warfighters. About 3,200 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the command's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.

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