Feds training police to respond to mass shootings, bombs

Feds training police to respond to mass shootings, bombs
© Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security is training local police departments on how to more effectively respond to mass shootings and bombs.

The first responder guidance released on Monday encourages police, fire and EMS units to better coordinate their responses to mitigate the risk that they’ll be targeted and improve the medical treatment for those victims suffering from the attack.

The guidance comes in response to a number of recent high-profile mass shootings, such as the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., and the 2011 shooting of former Rep. Gabby Giffords in Tucson, Ariz.


Homeland’s recommendations draw on the “military’s vast experience in responding to” active shooters and explosive devices.

The recommendations include first responders wearing body armor, such as ballistic vests, helmets and eyewear that can shield them from shooters and explosives. They’ll also be trained in situational awareness, to be on the alert for additional shooters and secondary explosive devices, so they can conceal themselves and find cover.

First responders will also be trained to use tourniquets to bandage wounds and stop the bleeding.

"There should be greater coordination among EMS, fire services, and law enforcement to work more effectively during IED or active shooter incidents,” according to the guidance.