NFPA Journal - September/October 2013 - (Page 52)

FEATURE FIRE SERVICE + SHOOTERS Strength in Numbers How the fire service can play a key role in an integrated approach to responding to mass-casualty shootings BY RUSS SANDERS AND BEN KLAENE ILLUSTRATION BY SEAN McCABE O n December 14, 2012, local firefighters were among the first to arrive at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut, in response to a shooter in the school. As police entered the building to hunt down the gunman, firefighters helped set up a triage unit at the site to treat the injured. But no injured came. “A few times during the incident I actually [was] hoping that this area [would be] filled with injured people,” one firefighter told CNN. “But fairly early on we realized that wasn’t going to be the case.” People either got out uninjured, or they died in the school. When it was over, 20 children and six adults at the school were dead. Ten days later, in upstate New York, a 911 dispatcher received a call from an unidentified man who claimed he was under fire. “We are being shot at,” he told the dispatcher, according to NBC News. “Multiple firemen down. Multiple firemen are shot. I am shot. I think he is using an assault rifle.” The caller was a member of the volunteer fire department in West Webster, New York, near Rochester. Firefighters were responding to a pre-dawn residential blaze in the nearby town of Webster when they were met with gunfire—a man had purposely set his vehicle and home on fire to lure firefighters and other emergency responders to the scene, where he ambushed them. Two firefighters were killed and two more were wounded in the shooting spree. News outlets quickly made the connection that the Webster gunman used the same model of militarystyle, semi-automatic rifle that the Newtown shooter had used. 52 NFPA JOURNAL SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NFPA Journal - September/October 2013

NFPA Journal - September/October 2013
First Word
In a Flash
Heads Up
Structural Ops
In Compliance
Electrical Safety
Wildfire Watch
Cover Story: Furniture Flamability
Special Report
NFPA Reports
NFPA Reports
Fire Analysis + Research
Section Spotlight
What’s Hot
Looking Back

NFPA Journal - September/October 2013