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Ep 54: When Attackers Go Mobile

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Контент предоставлен C3 Pathways. Весь контент подкастов, включая эпизоды, графику и описания подкастов, загружается и предоставляется непосредственно компанией C3 Pathways или ее партнером по платформе подкастов. Если вы считаете, что кто-то использует вашу работу, защищенную авторским правом, без вашего разрешения, вы можете выполнить процедуру, описанную здесь https://ru.player.fm/legal.

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Bill Godfrey:

Welcome to the Active Shooter Incident Management Podcast. My name is Bill Godfrey, your podcast host. Thank you for being with us today. I am being joined by Adam Pendley, here to my left, from the law enforcement side. Adam, thanks for coming in.

Adam Pendley:

Thank you.

Bill Godfrey:

And across the table of us, we got Mark Rhame from Fire and EMS. Mark, good to see you again.

Mark Rhame:

Yeah, thank you too.

Bill Godfrey:

We just spent a fun little weekend out in Vegas.

Mark Rhame:

We did.

Bill Godfrey:

That was...

Mark Rhame:

Not talking about what we did.

Bill Godfrey:

No, we cannot. No, we're not allowed to.

Mark Rhame:

No pictures.

Bill Godfrey:

And then next to Mark is Don Tuten, like Adam, also from the law enforcement side. Don, it's been a minute since we've had you in the studio. It's good to see you.

Don Tuten:

Yes, sir. It's good to be back.

Bill Godfrey:

All right. And for two of you, for Don and Adam, this is the first time you guys are getting a chance to see the new place and the new studio.

Don Tuten:

It's wonderful. I'll tell you, it's state-of-the-art. Great facility.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah, it's nice to be able to drop in and just be able to do that. So today's topic, we are going to be talking about attackers that go mobile, or mobile attacks. So there can be multiple sites involved, multiple attack locations, and some of the challenges that can go with that. And Adam, as you reminded me right before we went on air, this is not a small number. It's not a small percentage. It's actually...

Adam Pendley:

About 21% of the time the attacker will start at one location and then continue the attack at more than one location.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah, and I think we probably ought to talk a little bit about what gets included in from that from a data perspective, but then some of the real challenges of managing those incidents. So Adam, why don't you start us off a little bit and lead into that, and then we'll roll from there?

Adam Pendley:

Sure. So when you look back at active shooter events from about 2001 to currently, again, about 21% of the time the attacker will go mobile. Oftentimes these happen in rural areas where the attacker has some sort of direct attack on maybe a family member or someone maybe at home, and then they move on to other random locations that more traditionally meet the definition of an active assailant.The problem is, or one of the challenges of that, is early recognition that you potentially have an attacker that has attacked someone at one location and they're not trying to escape. Early indications are that they're moving to go attack somewhere else, and you get that second call within a short duration, and then maybe even a third call within a short duration. It's going to feel a lot like a complex, coordinated attack, but you may find that it's actually just one suspect moving from one location to the other.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah, and I think we probably need to kind of be clear that the attackers that start by killing a family member or killing a few family members and then going and committing attack, that's one type. The bulk of the attack is happening one locations. But there have been a number of events, I can't remember the exact number, but there's been a number of these where the attacker has been truly attacking one site, moving to the next site, moving to the next site. There was one out in California where literally was driving down the road in the car and attacking multiple locations.

And so I kind of want to talk about how those can come in and how they sound and how they can affect us. Don, from your perspective, because I know a lot of years you were in charge of overseeing patrol operations, that kind of thing, SWAT, what happens when you start to get, in short order, multiple reports of shooting in different locations, but they're close to each other? How does that become a challenge for you, and what does that sound like on the radio?

Don Tuten:

Yeah, so the biggest thing is your assailant already has a plan. Police do not know that that person has a plan and where they're going to go. So when that initial call comes in, potentially you don't know about the other one or two locations that's getting ready to occur. So when that call does go out, officers, obviously they want to get there as quick as they can. They want to do God's work and get there and then make this go away. The challenge is when we get that little bit of over-convergence on one location where a lot of resources are going, then that second call comes in. Well, now the intelligence piece of that is really critical. It starts at dispatch, it trickles down to the supervisor, and how quick that intelligence processing takes place is how long it takes the reaction of the officer.

So I think from your initial response to the first event, depending on, once again, the size of the agency, how many resources are available to you, that initial convergence onto that initial scene for the first incident, it's one of those things that we have to be cognizant of, of, yes, you do have one incident there, and yes, you are doing other calls for service around your county, around your city, but you have to be available and cognizant that this may be only one, specifically if you get there and that person's not there.

Bill Godfrey:

So I think that's an important one that we need to parse out a little bit, is the idea of over-converging on the single scene. But before we do that, Mark, talk a little bit about from the Fire/EMS perspective. What happens in terms of the Fire/EMS response when you start to get multiple serious medical calls, serious shooting calls that are in close proximity? They're in the same station's first due.

Mark Rhame:

So I have to go back to what you were initially talking about, is multiple sites. For Fire/EMS, one of the things we talk about when we do our classes is how critical it is for us to get the good information from law enforcement. I know for law enforcement, a lot of times they're not thinking about getting that patient count and the criticality of those patients initially. That's not their thought. They're going, "We got to go after this threat." But from us Fire/EMS perspective is that we're trying to manage our asset response.

We're trying to figure out how much stuff do we need to be here and be successful. And when you talk about multiple sites, now you're talking about some security issues and other things. Is our staging location going to be in that cold zone, always be in the cold zone? Is the person moving from this location to another? Are you getting multiple 9-1-1 calls that's saying that they're moving toward this direction, and are we sitting up our command post in that cold zone in the correct location?

So asset management, where we're sitting up our assets initially, staging, and the command post is going to be critical based upon the information we're getting. And that's why law enforcement, where we really lean heavily on you in those initial couple minutes for Fire/EMS, saying, "Give us that best information you have right now so we can actually prepare for what we need to do to save lives."

Bill Godfrey:

And on the Fire/EMS side, assuming that the bulk of these attacks happen in one station's first due, what kind of implications does that have for a resource strain when you get, within 10 minutes, five medical calls in that station's first due that are all priority calls, shootings?

Mark Rhame:

Exactly. So not only does a shift commander, and I'll use that for an example, the shift commander, have to be worrying about this big event going on right now, but also the other calls are going on in their normal response. Do they need to go into a reduced response for other type of calls so they can keep the assets that are available for the critical side? That one station obviously is going to get overwhelmed, but obviously we're going to move units closer and closer to that location. And that's why, again, why we want to stand at that staging location so we're prepared for the big event going on and anything might be right around that corner.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah, and I think the only thing that I would add to that is that your first incident is very likely to get a very quick Fire and EMS response, but your fourth incident who's now coming from two zones away or three zones away, the first units arriving at that might be 12, 15 minutes trying to get there because they're that far out of their position.

Mark Rhame:

And by then you may be going into mutual aid or first response, other agencies coming in. And then you got that issue of, do they know this area? And that's again why it's so important to create a staging location very, very quickly so that when we bring those assets in, we can marry them with other people and our first two and say, "Go with these people right here." You're going to be an RTF team or rescue task force team, these people here are used to this area, they understand this area. So we can make sure we have good response no matter who it's coming in, whether it's mutual aid or first response or the first responders in that area.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah. And Adam, coming back to you, so you kind of alluded to this and Don mentioned specifically the over-convergence that we see routinely, I think, would be a fair way to say it. Everybody goes and everybody dumps in. When that happens, and then there's a second site incident that's reported four minutes later, five minutes later, how difficult is it, what are some of the challenges that result from that over-convergence? I'd like the two of you guys to, from the law enforcement side, kind of hammer that back and forth and walk through what some of the problems are, what some of the challenges are, and what some of the ways to address that and avoid it from happening.

Adam Pendley:

Sure. So we know from law enforcement scenes between parking and people getting into the scene and wanting to do good work, it's very difficult to extract officers away from that and get them onto the second attack. So it's important to manage that early. And one of the examples I use a lot is a first-year sergeant is very used to resource management. If they go on scene to a traffic crash and there's five officers there, but you only need one to write the crash and one to maybe tow the car, you put the other three back in service.

So one of the ways to do that on one of these fast-moving incidents is understand that obviously we need that first contact team to secure what you have, to quickly realize that the suspect has maybe left the scene, establish that tactical or that fifth man position to manage those resources that are incoming, and then use the concept of staging, understanding that if I have enough officers that are dealing with the immediate, stop the killing, there is no active stimulus, to begin a rescue of those that are down and to begin to secure that scene, everyone else either can wait in staging or can prepare for what might be a next attack as opposed to inserting every officer you have into this first scene.

Don Tuten:

Yeah, let me build on what Adam's saying, and just as important as what he's saying is the communication piece with the fire department and your other first responders. Without that initial communication, once you determine that, hey, this may not be the only one, you have to establish that communication so everybody's on the same page immediately. And whether that be with the chief, whether it be with the lieutenant, whoever on the fire department side saying, "Hey, listen, this may be multiple attacks coming on, where are you staging? This is our recommendation. We need to really start getting our people in." One thing on law enforcement, we don't use staging nearly as much as obviously the fire department does. So I think training is a big piece of that, and we could talk about that for a long time of exactly what-

Bill Godfrey:

And we probably should.

Don Tuten:

And you're right, as how law enforcement could do a better job training. But I think putting that piece, getting that communication set up immediately, being on the same page, sending those staging managers from the law enforcement side as liaisons with the fire department, it determines the one response mechanism for both sides.

Mark Rhame:

Well, also... I'm sorry.

Adam Pendley:

Go ahead, Mark.

Mark Rhame:

Bill, also, when you look at after action reports and you look at the problems of significant big calls, a lot of them is that they don't integrate their response. And without an integration policy or procedure or system in place, you're basically siloing your system. Your fire/EMS will have their own little separate area. Law enforcement has their own area. Mutual aid may even have their own little area, not standing up a command post in an integrated response, staging an integrated response.

You can pretty much go down the list and look at pretty much every after action report, white paper, whatever you want to call it. That's one of the downfalls, one of the problems. They don't get organized. They don't integrate. The information isn't flowing all the way through every single agency that's responding to that call, and you need to. You need to get that information to them for numerous reasons. But again, that's one of the things you see. We have to have integrated response and we have to integrate our staging, our command posts. All of these locations have to be integrated.

Adam Pendley:

And we on law enforcement, to what Don was saying, we need to learn from what fire and rescue has done for many, many years, and that is they'll bring as many resources they need to the scene, but they only engage what they need at that time. Everyone else is at the ready to come into the fight if necessary, and it's up to command and the staging manager to manage those resources that you may need on the actual fire ground, and everyone else is in staging. Same thing with law enforcement. We have learned how to better respond to active shooters incrementally over the years. Of course, all the way back to Columbine, we know we can't wait. We know we need to get rescue in sooner. And now, every law enforcement agency and many fire departments across the country are eager to get inside. They want to get in there and stop the threat and save lives.

But the problem is that everyone thinks that that's the only job that needs to be done. So everyone is rushing inside the scene as opposed to realizing that there may be other jobs that need to be done. That's why staging is important. That integrated response is critically important. So if you have the fire rescue resources on scene but there's no law enforcement with them, that's going to slow down the RTF response. So what we find is that even on these first attacks, especially where the assailant has fled, is that law enforcement will spend an inordinate amount of time searching for that threat. And I've said this many times, and I'll say it again now. Known bleeding will not stop while you search for unknown threats. And on top of that, if you have every resource in there searching for a suspect that is fled, you are caught off guard when he attacks a second location.

Mark Rhame:

Well, Adam, on that, can't we secure that initial location and start our treatment at that location, get those people off, while you're still searching for that unknown?

Adam Pendley:

Absolutely, and that's one of the priorities that we focus on, is we have to deal with the active threat. Then you begin rescue, and then you continue clearing. And if you do that with a strategy in mind, using staging as one of those strategies, not only are you managing that first scene better but you're at a good footing for if that next call comes in.

Don Tuten:

You're more disciplined.

Adam Pendley:

Right.

Don Tuten:

It puts you in a position to be a lot more disciplined at that location.

Adam Pendley:

Absolutely.

Bill Godfrey:

I think the other piece, Adam, going back to something you said at the beginning of that, was there's more jobs to be done than just going in and getting the bad guy. And I think if that's the A side of that issue, then the B side of that issue is there's also some jobs that have to happen at the same time.

Adam Pendley:

Absolutely.

Bill Godfrey:

There's more than one job to be done, and there's jobs that need to be done at the same time that other jobs are happening. Otherwise, you get penalized by the clock. It's not that you won't get it done. It's not that it won't get done or it won't happen. It's that it's not going to happen quickly. And for people that have been shot and are bleeding to death, speed is what's going to save lives.

So I want to get into some of the specific challenges of managing the multi-site stuff, but before we do that, I want to talk a little bit about communications. So you've got your first site comes in. We believe it's an active shooter event. That's how it's dispatched, or at least that's how it sounds as it goes out over the radio. You've got your influx of people, the typical everybody's coming and over-convergence is going on. Most everyone is using some sort of trunked radio system these days. There's very few people that are using some of the old-school dedicated channels. What happens from the comm ability when the second site information does come in and gets dispatched? How bad are communications compromised, and how much does that affect trying to shift your resources to the other site?

Adam Pendley:

Well, first and foremost, you start with dispatch, and it's important for dispatchers to be part of your active shooter training so they recognize that this second location is not some sort of artificial call or duplicate call or a call with the wrong address. They need to understand that this is potentially the same suspect that has now gone to a second site. And being able to discern that and being able to dispatch it in a way where those on the street understand that, A, this attacker has now gone to a second location. So you start with dispatch.

And then the second thing, to your point, Bill, is that we have to manage communications and we may end up with site one having to stay on a particular channel while maybe site two starts to be managed from a second channel. But then that extra layer of management, whoever's going to be in charge of both of these scenes, needs to have the capability to communicate, listen to, monitor both incidents, and hopefully doing that shoulder-to-shoulder-

Don Tuten:

And it's intelligence gathering.

Adam Pendley:

Yeah, yeah.

Don Tuten:

Because if they're not listening to both incidents going on at the same time, they're missing out on that intelligence. And, on top of that, if they're not hand in hand with their fire partner giving that same information out, we're missing the boat, quite honestly, because we have to do that. Specifically, they may get another call that we don't even know about yet. That guy could have done something maybe en route to another call or shot somebody in-

Bill Godfrey:

Car accident.

Don Tuten:

... a car accident.

Bill Godfrey:

Which actually happened in the California one. He banged up a bunch of cars and they had a-

Don Tuten:

Absolutely.

Bill Godfrey:

... an MVA that got dispatched that turned out to be part of the incident.

Don Tuten:

Which is so critical on getting that suspect information out, the vehicle, the mode of travel, the type of weapon. All of that information is so critical, because you're going to get little pieces from that first incident as witnesses come forward if not after or while that second incident has taken place. So where's the third, or where's the fourth? And it's so critical to get that information out, not only on the radio to everybody else that's working, but also to our other responding emergency responders, whether it be fire department, rescue, whoever that may be.

Mark Rhame:

And Bill, to piggyback on Don and Adam's point is that we talk about this in the class, how important it is to embed an intelligence officer in dispatch as quick as possible. And when we first bring that up in a class, you look at a lot of people in the room's faces and they're going, "What?"

Bill Godfrey:

What?

Mark Rhame:

That's not a priority. And we're sitting there going, "Well, actually it is." When you're chasing ghosts and you're chasing that bad information and you're spending resources to do that, one of the ways you can clean that up quickly, hopefully, is an embedded law enforcement officer, intelligence officer, in dispatch as quick as possible. Dispatch is already overwhelmed. And if you go to a lot of these places, they only have a couple dispatches on duty at any given time. You get an active shooter event, they way are over-consumed with what's going on. So to get someone from law enforcement there as quick as possible to start looking at that intel that's coming in, those 9-1-1 calls, you can probably save yourself a lot of time and resources.

Adam Pendley:

And the only thing I would add to over-convergence and some of the things we're talking about is, oftentimes, your command staff can over converge as well. And what I mean by that is we teach layers quite a bit. And if you start having multiple sites, that tactical group supervisor, the triage group supervisor, and the transport group supervisor, the triage, transport and tactical that are working together right at the edge of the warm zone, they may be in charge of that first site for almost the entire duration, while a second site, same thing, you get a first or second contact team in, a tactical triage and transport at that location, and now command is an extra layer up and they're at a command post that's hopefully in a relatively protected cold zone, and they're now managing more than one tactical site at a time. And if these... the other challenge, to not open Pandora's box too much, but in some communities, the distance may actually cover two or three, four different political jurisdictions, or four-

Don Tuten:

Yeah, counties or cities, or... yeah.

Adam Pendley:

Yeah, jurisdictional authorities. And you can get into the concept of maybe the senior leadership from those multiple jurisdictions get together and create a very quick tactical area command to manage critical resources going to more than one side at a time.

Don Tuten:

Well, and you said it, and somebody has to be in charge specifically pretty quick, because everybody's going to want to do something. We've all seen the news. We've all seen the challenges that different agencies have had in the past during these responses. So everybody wants to do something. But without somebody recognizing that, hey, this is one of potentially several events has taken place, that communication, that intelligence gathering, that corroboration, basically, on getting this together, if that doesn't occur, then we have... and I'll bring up political. That's one of them as well as different agencies. You have different agency heads or political figures making decisions, but nobody's working together.

Adam Pendley:

And one of our other instructors tells a funny, not funny story of, as the chief of the zone arriving to a critical scene and trying to find who was in charge, which should have been a lieutenant, only to see his feet going in the window of the crisis site. And she had to pull him aside later and say, "You can't do that. You're the lieutenant. You have to stay here. You have to be in command and direct your officers to do those tasks." Now, obviously if the lieutenant was the first one on the scene and had to save a life, that's one thing, but that wasn't the case. So getting command to understand that they have to stay put and be that extra level of incident command, to make sure that they manage the onslaught of resources that are coming, not only for the first site but a potential second or third site.

Bill Godfrey:

And I think where I want to take this next, because we're coming up on time, but I want to spend at least five minutes talking about this, you mentioned area command. The question that I get asked with some frequency is, when do you just have multiple sites that are under the direction of one commander, and when do you need to do area command, and when do you consolidate them and all that stuff? And what I would say to you is just think about it in terms of geography. How close are you together if all of your sites... Let's say we've got three attack sites, if they're all within a few blocks of each other and you're pulling from the same staging area, that's just one incident with three different geographical divisions, is what they would be called in incident command nomenclature. But that's one incident with one staging, and you're sharing those resources.

Now to your point, Adam, and this happened in California, just like you said, this guy drove a fairly short distance but through two, I think three different jurisdictions. And in some cases, they were on different radio systems. And so when their first dispatch went out, which might've been the third incident, they didn't know about the other incidents that were already ongoing. And so they stood up their own command, had their own resource requests coming in, and to some degree these incidents were operating independently without knowledge of what was going on in the other incident. That's the case where area command comes in, because instead of, whether it's geographic distance or it's a jurisdictional boundary on who is in authority, when you've got multiple commands that have already been stood up, that's where the opportunity for an area command to step in, because then the incident command team that's on the ground in jurisdiction A and the incident command team that's running the incident site in jurisdiction B, they continue to function with full authority, but the area command is over the top of them coordinating the larger resources and information needs and the intelligence and then later what will become the investigation as well.

Are there any other subtleties that you guys think we ought to talk a little bit about some of those challenges? Because it's going to be really... unless all of these incidents occur in your jurisdiction, you're hearing the dispatch on the radio, or if you're on attack channel, the dispatcher's calling you and saying, "By the way, three blocks away from you, we've got another shooting in progress," something like this, you may very well not know about the other incident going on. So let's talk a minute about some of those challenges and some of the ways once you recognize that it's happened, what are some of the things that we need to do?

Mark Rhame:

Bill, one small issue on that is that... I can give you a personal example. We were working some significant storms on one side of the county at one time. We were working our own event, no idea that anything else was going on. Came back to the primary dispatch channel when they advised us that a tornado touched down and had significant damage. We would've been a little bit more aggressive, at least in my thought, and to release units from my site, we didn't know it was going on. We had no clue. Basically I was still hogging resources because we didn't see the urgency. We were sitting there just working our site. As the incident commander at that site, I would've said, "No, we got to get these people back in service. There's another event that is more significant that needs those assets. We got to release them." But I had no knowledge of it.

Don Tuten:

You know, I think we always talk about communication between different agencies and different jurisdictions. The one thing we typically leave out is how critical it is for the comm centers to really meet and communicate. Because honestly, that's where it first hits the fan is those different comm centers. And if one comm center has an active event and they send out an alert to multiple jurisdictions, well, now we've started connecting those multiple jurisdictions. Even if it's not from the officers on the ground, it's still from the communication side of it, and we're starting to build that intel piece.

Adam Pendley:

And that's one of the things we talk about a lot too, to Mark's point and to what Don's saying as well, is that one of the first things you do when you set up an area command is tell everyone there is an area command so they know where they can get critical resources from, so they know that when they're done with resources, they get them back in service as quickly as possible. So setting up that comm aid or that communications between an area command and the individual sites is so critically important, which then leads to the second thing, and that is, we've talked about this a couple of times already, how important that early intelligence is. And if you can establish a pattern or you have some early information on who the attackers may be... Maybe think San Bernardino, where that was going to be a multi-site attack, but it was interrupted because of good early intelligence that was managed at the right level, that was able to intercept the additional attacks that were planned by those suspects.

Bill Godfrey:

What are some of the practical things for the sergeant on the ground, the lieutenant on the ground who hears the dispatch for the other event, is maybe not certain but pretty sure that their suspect is no longer on the scene? What are some of the practical things that we can give them in terms of tips on how to adjust? To Mark's point, make sure you're not hogging resources. You got the resources you need, but you're cutting other resources away or cutting them loose. What are some of those practical tips on how they might want to alternate or deviate from the standard response approach?

Don Tuten:

I think depending on the size of the agency, area discipline is a big issue. You don't want officers coming from a far distance or far area away to your site just to have to turn back and go back around. So I think there's recognition of that area discipline for those officers, knowing the resources that you have. If you're a smaller agency, maybe you start calling mutual aid pretty quick. That's one thing to get that additional resources in. If you're a larger agency, it's contacting those other zone lieutenants or commanders or whoever's in charge of that area, going, "Hey, listen, we're working this, just giving you a heads-up. I don't need any additional resources right now, but you never know what's coming up."

Mark Rhame:

Also, I think you want to make sure that your responders understand that freelancing is not allowed. That's something that we've really hit hard and put in our policies and practices. But if you have people freelancing, you're losing accountability. You're not managing your assets correctly. You need to make sure that people understand that they go to where their assignments are. When they're done with that assignment, they need to let their incident commander know they're available and ready to go to another event. Maybe they need to be released and sent to another location. But don't allow them people just to freelance and continue to do things outside of the command.

Adam Pendley:

Yeah, and then I would also say in a practical way, again, once all patients have been transported from your site, I say in these critical incidents, people might be in charge of more for longer than they expected when you have multiple sites, meaning you may have to tell that sergeant who's on the scene, "Hold what you got. Call me if anything changes. We're working multiple sites." And that sergeant may be doing more than he or she-

Don Tuten:

Because it's still a crime scene.

Adam Pendley:

Right. Absolutely.

Don Tuten:

Yeah. Yeah.

Bill Godfrey:

It's got to be a perimeter. Yeah. A perimeter.

Adam Pendley:

And then for those agency or those zones or agencies that might be out on the periphery that haven't been called in yet and they know a multi-attack's going on, if I were a sergeant of a squad on a midnight shift, I may call them all to a Walmart and say, "Hey, let's gear up and be ready. We haven't been called yet, but hey, the next call may come out in our zone and we're going to be ready, we're going to be together, and we're going to go."

Bill Godfrey:

And I think to Mark's point about the freelancing and the tasks and the assignment, and we were talking about this earlier, and I think it is a good idea to kind of do a whole topic on this, but if you don't have a specific task assignment, what the hell are you doing down range in the first place? It just becomes another person to get in the way, to cause a problem, end up with a blue-on-blue, crisscrossing and doing... We're searching the same room three times.

Don Tuten:

You're there to help but you don't know what your job is.

Bill Godfrey:

Right. And certainly in the first few minutes of the incident, you're not going to have a bountiful number of guns. You want those guns exactly where you need them and exactly when you need them. And if you don't have a way to push those assignments out quickly as the need arises, how the heck are you supposed to get this done? And just overwhelming in numbers. Well, Karla's giving me the 30-minute sign where I think we're at a good breaking point on this one. Any last thoughts on this before we leave it?

Adam Pendley:

Because I always have to have the last word. Again, I just think the mindset should be that this is the first attack. And 99% of the time, it may only be the one attack, but be somewhat prepared in the back of your mind-

Don Tuten:

What if?

Adam Pendley:

... for that 1% of the time, that over-convergence is not a good idea.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah. Final thoughts?

Mark Rhame:

Yeah, and I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but frankly, that's why, again, the importance of staging, building out those teams... Staging is not about slowing down, by the way. We say that over and over again. It's about being prepared to respond to an event, because let's face it. If you're not ready, that is a time killer. That will harm you more than anything else. Staging allows you to respond immediately when those teams are built and they're ready to go and they get their assignment. They know what their task and purpose is.

Bill Godfrey:

All right. Very good. Don, any last thoughts?

Don Tuten:

No, just, you can never overcommunicate unless you have a microphone in your hand. But talking to each other, you can never overcommunicate. And I think that's a big piece of it.

Bill Godfrey:

All right. Well, gentlemen, thank you very much. This is a fascinating topic to talk about and I think we've got several more for our next few podcasts to go through for the group. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us. I want to thank our producer Carla Torres for doing a great job in making us look and sound better. There's only so much you can do with filters about making us look better.

Don Tuten:

Sound, sound...

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah, the-

Don Tuten:

... is the key word.

Bill Godfrey:

Certainly on the sound side. If you have not subscribed to the podcast, please do so. If you have other people that you're working with that are not familiar with it, please share it. Share the information. Share the link. This doesn't really work unless we start to get everybody on the same page. So please do subscribe and share the podcast. And with that, we'll see you next time. Stay safe.

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Bill Godfrey:

Welcome to the Active Shooter Incident Management Podcast. My name is Bill Godfrey, your podcast host. Thank you for being with us today. I am being joined by Adam Pendley, here to my left, from the law enforcement side. Adam, thanks for coming in.

Adam Pendley:

Thank you.

Bill Godfrey:

And across the table of us, we got Mark Rhame from Fire and EMS. Mark, good to see you again.

Mark Rhame:

Yeah, thank you too.

Bill Godfrey:

We just spent a fun little weekend out in Vegas.

Mark Rhame:

We did.

Bill Godfrey:

That was...

Mark Rhame:

Not talking about what we did.

Bill Godfrey:

No, we cannot. No, we're not allowed to.

Mark Rhame:

No pictures.

Bill Godfrey:

And then next to Mark is Don Tuten, like Adam, also from the law enforcement side. Don, it's been a minute since we've had you in the studio. It's good to see you.

Don Tuten:

Yes, sir. It's good to be back.

Bill Godfrey:

All right. And for two of you, for Don and Adam, this is the first time you guys are getting a chance to see the new place and the new studio.

Don Tuten:

It's wonderful. I'll tell you, it's state-of-the-art. Great facility.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah, it's nice to be able to drop in and just be able to do that. So today's topic, we are going to be talking about attackers that go mobile, or mobile attacks. So there can be multiple sites involved, multiple attack locations, and some of the challenges that can go with that. And Adam, as you reminded me right before we went on air, this is not a small number. It's not a small percentage. It's actually...

Adam Pendley:

About 21% of the time the attacker will start at one location and then continue the attack at more than one location.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah, and I think we probably ought to talk a little bit about what gets included in from that from a data perspective, but then some of the real challenges of managing those incidents. So Adam, why don't you start us off a little bit and lead into that, and then we'll roll from there?

Adam Pendley:

Sure. So when you look back at active shooter events from about 2001 to currently, again, about 21% of the time the attacker will go mobile. Oftentimes these happen in rural areas where the attacker has some sort of direct attack on maybe a family member or someone maybe at home, and then they move on to other random locations that more traditionally meet the definition of an active assailant.The problem is, or one of the challenges of that, is early recognition that you potentially have an attacker that has attacked someone at one location and they're not trying to escape. Early indications are that they're moving to go attack somewhere else, and you get that second call within a short duration, and then maybe even a third call within a short duration. It's going to feel a lot like a complex, coordinated attack, but you may find that it's actually just one suspect moving from one location to the other.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah, and I think we probably need to kind of be clear that the attackers that start by killing a family member or killing a few family members and then going and committing attack, that's one type. The bulk of the attack is happening one locations. But there have been a number of events, I can't remember the exact number, but there's been a number of these where the attacker has been truly attacking one site, moving to the next site, moving to the next site. There was one out in California where literally was driving down the road in the car and attacking multiple locations.

And so I kind of want to talk about how those can come in and how they sound and how they can affect us. Don, from your perspective, because I know a lot of years you were in charge of overseeing patrol operations, that kind of thing, SWAT, what happens when you start to get, in short order, multiple reports of shooting in different locations, but they're close to each other? How does that become a challenge for you, and what does that sound like on the radio?

Don Tuten:

Yeah, so the biggest thing is your assailant already has a plan. Police do not know that that person has a plan and where they're going to go. So when that initial call comes in, potentially you don't know about the other one or two locations that's getting ready to occur. So when that call does go out, officers, obviously they want to get there as quick as they can. They want to do God's work and get there and then make this go away. The challenge is when we get that little bit of over-convergence on one location where a lot of resources are going, then that second call comes in. Well, now the intelligence piece of that is really critical. It starts at dispatch, it trickles down to the supervisor, and how quick that intelligence processing takes place is how long it takes the reaction of the officer.

So I think from your initial response to the first event, depending on, once again, the size of the agency, how many resources are available to you, that initial convergence onto that initial scene for the first incident, it's one of those things that we have to be cognizant of, of, yes, you do have one incident there, and yes, you are doing other calls for service around your county, around your city, but you have to be available and cognizant that this may be only one, specifically if you get there and that person's not there.

Bill Godfrey:

So I think that's an important one that we need to parse out a little bit, is the idea of over-converging on the single scene. But before we do that, Mark, talk a little bit about from the Fire/EMS perspective. What happens in terms of the Fire/EMS response when you start to get multiple serious medical calls, serious shooting calls that are in close proximity? They're in the same station's first due.

Mark Rhame:

So I have to go back to what you were initially talking about, is multiple sites. For Fire/EMS, one of the things we talk about when we do our classes is how critical it is for us to get the good information from law enforcement. I know for law enforcement, a lot of times they're not thinking about getting that patient count and the criticality of those patients initially. That's not their thought. They're going, "We got to go after this threat." But from us Fire/EMS perspective is that we're trying to manage our asset response.

We're trying to figure out how much stuff do we need to be here and be successful. And when you talk about multiple sites, now you're talking about some security issues and other things. Is our staging location going to be in that cold zone, always be in the cold zone? Is the person moving from this location to another? Are you getting multiple 9-1-1 calls that's saying that they're moving toward this direction, and are we sitting up our command post in that cold zone in the correct location?

So asset management, where we're sitting up our assets initially, staging, and the command post is going to be critical based upon the information we're getting. And that's why law enforcement, where we really lean heavily on you in those initial couple minutes for Fire/EMS, saying, "Give us that best information you have right now so we can actually prepare for what we need to do to save lives."

Bill Godfrey:

And on the Fire/EMS side, assuming that the bulk of these attacks happen in one station's first due, what kind of implications does that have for a resource strain when you get, within 10 minutes, five medical calls in that station's first due that are all priority calls, shootings?

Mark Rhame:

Exactly. So not only does a shift commander, and I'll use that for an example, the shift commander, have to be worrying about this big event going on right now, but also the other calls are going on in their normal response. Do they need to go into a reduced response for other type of calls so they can keep the assets that are available for the critical side? That one station obviously is going to get overwhelmed, but obviously we're going to move units closer and closer to that location. And that's why, again, why we want to stand at that staging location so we're prepared for the big event going on and anything might be right around that corner.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah, and I think the only thing that I would add to that is that your first incident is very likely to get a very quick Fire and EMS response, but your fourth incident who's now coming from two zones away or three zones away, the first units arriving at that might be 12, 15 minutes trying to get there because they're that far out of their position.

Mark Rhame:

And by then you may be going into mutual aid or first response, other agencies coming in. And then you got that issue of, do they know this area? And that's again why it's so important to create a staging location very, very quickly so that when we bring those assets in, we can marry them with other people and our first two and say, "Go with these people right here." You're going to be an RTF team or rescue task force team, these people here are used to this area, they understand this area. So we can make sure we have good response no matter who it's coming in, whether it's mutual aid or first response or the first responders in that area.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah. And Adam, coming back to you, so you kind of alluded to this and Don mentioned specifically the over-convergence that we see routinely, I think, would be a fair way to say it. Everybody goes and everybody dumps in. When that happens, and then there's a second site incident that's reported four minutes later, five minutes later, how difficult is it, what are some of the challenges that result from that over-convergence? I'd like the two of you guys to, from the law enforcement side, kind of hammer that back and forth and walk through what some of the problems are, what some of the challenges are, and what some of the ways to address that and avoid it from happening.

Adam Pendley:

Sure. So we know from law enforcement scenes between parking and people getting into the scene and wanting to do good work, it's very difficult to extract officers away from that and get them onto the second attack. So it's important to manage that early. And one of the examples I use a lot is a first-year sergeant is very used to resource management. If they go on scene to a traffic crash and there's five officers there, but you only need one to write the crash and one to maybe tow the car, you put the other three back in service.

So one of the ways to do that on one of these fast-moving incidents is understand that obviously we need that first contact team to secure what you have, to quickly realize that the suspect has maybe left the scene, establish that tactical or that fifth man position to manage those resources that are incoming, and then use the concept of staging, understanding that if I have enough officers that are dealing with the immediate, stop the killing, there is no active stimulus, to begin a rescue of those that are down and to begin to secure that scene, everyone else either can wait in staging or can prepare for what might be a next attack as opposed to inserting every officer you have into this first scene.

Don Tuten:

Yeah, let me build on what Adam's saying, and just as important as what he's saying is the communication piece with the fire department and your other first responders. Without that initial communication, once you determine that, hey, this may not be the only one, you have to establish that communication so everybody's on the same page immediately. And whether that be with the chief, whether it be with the lieutenant, whoever on the fire department side saying, "Hey, listen, this may be multiple attacks coming on, where are you staging? This is our recommendation. We need to really start getting our people in." One thing on law enforcement, we don't use staging nearly as much as obviously the fire department does. So I think training is a big piece of that, and we could talk about that for a long time of exactly what-

Bill Godfrey:

And we probably should.

Don Tuten:

And you're right, as how law enforcement could do a better job training. But I think putting that piece, getting that communication set up immediately, being on the same page, sending those staging managers from the law enforcement side as liaisons with the fire department, it determines the one response mechanism for both sides.

Mark Rhame:

Well, also... I'm sorry.

Adam Pendley:

Go ahead, Mark.

Mark Rhame:

Bill, also, when you look at after action reports and you look at the problems of significant big calls, a lot of them is that they don't integrate their response. And without an integration policy or procedure or system in place, you're basically siloing your system. Your fire/EMS will have their own little separate area. Law enforcement has their own area. Mutual aid may even have their own little area, not standing up a command post in an integrated response, staging an integrated response.

You can pretty much go down the list and look at pretty much every after action report, white paper, whatever you want to call it. That's one of the downfalls, one of the problems. They don't get organized. They don't integrate. The information isn't flowing all the way through every single agency that's responding to that call, and you need to. You need to get that information to them for numerous reasons. But again, that's one of the things you see. We have to have integrated response and we have to integrate our staging, our command posts. All of these locations have to be integrated.

Adam Pendley:

And we on law enforcement, to what Don was saying, we need to learn from what fire and rescue has done for many, many years, and that is they'll bring as many resources they need to the scene, but they only engage what they need at that time. Everyone else is at the ready to come into the fight if necessary, and it's up to command and the staging manager to manage those resources that you may need on the actual fire ground, and everyone else is in staging. Same thing with law enforcement. We have learned how to better respond to active shooters incrementally over the years. Of course, all the way back to Columbine, we know we can't wait. We know we need to get rescue in sooner. And now, every law enforcement agency and many fire departments across the country are eager to get inside. They want to get in there and stop the threat and save lives.

But the problem is that everyone thinks that that's the only job that needs to be done. So everyone is rushing inside the scene as opposed to realizing that there may be other jobs that need to be done. That's why staging is important. That integrated response is critically important. So if you have the fire rescue resources on scene but there's no law enforcement with them, that's going to slow down the RTF response. So what we find is that even on these first attacks, especially where the assailant has fled, is that law enforcement will spend an inordinate amount of time searching for that threat. And I've said this many times, and I'll say it again now. Known bleeding will not stop while you search for unknown threats. And on top of that, if you have every resource in there searching for a suspect that is fled, you are caught off guard when he attacks a second location.

Mark Rhame:

Well, Adam, on that, can't we secure that initial location and start our treatment at that location, get those people off, while you're still searching for that unknown?

Adam Pendley:

Absolutely, and that's one of the priorities that we focus on, is we have to deal with the active threat. Then you begin rescue, and then you continue clearing. And if you do that with a strategy in mind, using staging as one of those strategies, not only are you managing that first scene better but you're at a good footing for if that next call comes in.

Don Tuten:

You're more disciplined.

Adam Pendley:

Right.

Don Tuten:

It puts you in a position to be a lot more disciplined at that location.

Adam Pendley:

Absolutely.

Bill Godfrey:

I think the other piece, Adam, going back to something you said at the beginning of that, was there's more jobs to be done than just going in and getting the bad guy. And I think if that's the A side of that issue, then the B side of that issue is there's also some jobs that have to happen at the same time.

Adam Pendley:

Absolutely.

Bill Godfrey:

There's more than one job to be done, and there's jobs that need to be done at the same time that other jobs are happening. Otherwise, you get penalized by the clock. It's not that you won't get it done. It's not that it won't get done or it won't happen. It's that it's not going to happen quickly. And for people that have been shot and are bleeding to death, speed is what's going to save lives.

So I want to get into some of the specific challenges of managing the multi-site stuff, but before we do that, I want to talk a little bit about communications. So you've got your first site comes in. We believe it's an active shooter event. That's how it's dispatched, or at least that's how it sounds as it goes out over the radio. You've got your influx of people, the typical everybody's coming and over-convergence is going on. Most everyone is using some sort of trunked radio system these days. There's very few people that are using some of the old-school dedicated channels. What happens from the comm ability when the second site information does come in and gets dispatched? How bad are communications compromised, and how much does that affect trying to shift your resources to the other site?

Adam Pendley:

Well, first and foremost, you start with dispatch, and it's important for dispatchers to be part of your active shooter training so they recognize that this second location is not some sort of artificial call or duplicate call or a call with the wrong address. They need to understand that this is potentially the same suspect that has now gone to a second site. And being able to discern that and being able to dispatch it in a way where those on the street understand that, A, this attacker has now gone to a second location. So you start with dispatch.

And then the second thing, to your point, Bill, is that we have to manage communications and we may end up with site one having to stay on a particular channel while maybe site two starts to be managed from a second channel. But then that extra layer of management, whoever's going to be in charge of both of these scenes, needs to have the capability to communicate, listen to, monitor both incidents, and hopefully doing that shoulder-to-shoulder-

Don Tuten:

And it's intelligence gathering.

Adam Pendley:

Yeah, yeah.

Don Tuten:

Because if they're not listening to both incidents going on at the same time, they're missing out on that intelligence. And, on top of that, if they're not hand in hand with their fire partner giving that same information out, we're missing the boat, quite honestly, because we have to do that. Specifically, they may get another call that we don't even know about yet. That guy could have done something maybe en route to another call or shot somebody in-

Bill Godfrey:

Car accident.

Don Tuten:

... a car accident.

Bill Godfrey:

Which actually happened in the California one. He banged up a bunch of cars and they had a-

Don Tuten:

Absolutely.

Bill Godfrey:

... an MVA that got dispatched that turned out to be part of the incident.

Don Tuten:

Which is so critical on getting that suspect information out, the vehicle, the mode of travel, the type of weapon. All of that information is so critical, because you're going to get little pieces from that first incident as witnesses come forward if not after or while that second incident has taken place. So where's the third, or where's the fourth? And it's so critical to get that information out, not only on the radio to everybody else that's working, but also to our other responding emergency responders, whether it be fire department, rescue, whoever that may be.

Mark Rhame:

And Bill, to piggyback on Don and Adam's point is that we talk about this in the class, how important it is to embed an intelligence officer in dispatch as quick as possible. And when we first bring that up in a class, you look at a lot of people in the room's faces and they're going, "What?"

Bill Godfrey:

What?

Mark Rhame:

That's not a priority. And we're sitting there going, "Well, actually it is." When you're chasing ghosts and you're chasing that bad information and you're spending resources to do that, one of the ways you can clean that up quickly, hopefully, is an embedded law enforcement officer, intelligence officer, in dispatch as quick as possible. Dispatch is already overwhelmed. And if you go to a lot of these places, they only have a couple dispatches on duty at any given time. You get an active shooter event, they way are over-consumed with what's going on. So to get someone from law enforcement there as quick as possible to start looking at that intel that's coming in, those 9-1-1 calls, you can probably save yourself a lot of time and resources.

Adam Pendley:

And the only thing I would add to over-convergence and some of the things we're talking about is, oftentimes, your command staff can over converge as well. And what I mean by that is we teach layers quite a bit. And if you start having multiple sites, that tactical group supervisor, the triage group supervisor, and the transport group supervisor, the triage, transport and tactical that are working together right at the edge of the warm zone, they may be in charge of that first site for almost the entire duration, while a second site, same thing, you get a first or second contact team in, a tactical triage and transport at that location, and now command is an extra layer up and they're at a command post that's hopefully in a relatively protected cold zone, and they're now managing more than one tactical site at a time. And if these... the other challenge, to not open Pandora's box too much, but in some communities, the distance may actually cover two or three, four different political jurisdictions, or four-

Don Tuten:

Yeah, counties or cities, or... yeah.

Adam Pendley:

Yeah, jurisdictional authorities. And you can get into the concept of maybe the senior leadership from those multiple jurisdictions get together and create a very quick tactical area command to manage critical resources going to more than one side at a time.

Don Tuten:

Well, and you said it, and somebody has to be in charge specifically pretty quick, because everybody's going to want to do something. We've all seen the news. We've all seen the challenges that different agencies have had in the past during these responses. So everybody wants to do something. But without somebody recognizing that, hey, this is one of potentially several events has taken place, that communication, that intelligence gathering, that corroboration, basically, on getting this together, if that doesn't occur, then we have... and I'll bring up political. That's one of them as well as different agencies. You have different agency heads or political figures making decisions, but nobody's working together.

Adam Pendley:

And one of our other instructors tells a funny, not funny story of, as the chief of the zone arriving to a critical scene and trying to find who was in charge, which should have been a lieutenant, only to see his feet going in the window of the crisis site. And she had to pull him aside later and say, "You can't do that. You're the lieutenant. You have to stay here. You have to be in command and direct your officers to do those tasks." Now, obviously if the lieutenant was the first one on the scene and had to save a life, that's one thing, but that wasn't the case. So getting command to understand that they have to stay put and be that extra level of incident command, to make sure that they manage the onslaught of resources that are coming, not only for the first site but a potential second or third site.

Bill Godfrey:

And I think where I want to take this next, because we're coming up on time, but I want to spend at least five minutes talking about this, you mentioned area command. The question that I get asked with some frequency is, when do you just have multiple sites that are under the direction of one commander, and when do you need to do area command, and when do you consolidate them and all that stuff? And what I would say to you is just think about it in terms of geography. How close are you together if all of your sites... Let's say we've got three attack sites, if they're all within a few blocks of each other and you're pulling from the same staging area, that's just one incident with three different geographical divisions, is what they would be called in incident command nomenclature. But that's one incident with one staging, and you're sharing those resources.

Now to your point, Adam, and this happened in California, just like you said, this guy drove a fairly short distance but through two, I think three different jurisdictions. And in some cases, they were on different radio systems. And so when their first dispatch went out, which might've been the third incident, they didn't know about the other incidents that were already ongoing. And so they stood up their own command, had their own resource requests coming in, and to some degree these incidents were operating independently without knowledge of what was going on in the other incident. That's the case where area command comes in, because instead of, whether it's geographic distance or it's a jurisdictional boundary on who is in authority, when you've got multiple commands that have already been stood up, that's where the opportunity for an area command to step in, because then the incident command team that's on the ground in jurisdiction A and the incident command team that's running the incident site in jurisdiction B, they continue to function with full authority, but the area command is over the top of them coordinating the larger resources and information needs and the intelligence and then later what will become the investigation as well.

Are there any other subtleties that you guys think we ought to talk a little bit about some of those challenges? Because it's going to be really... unless all of these incidents occur in your jurisdiction, you're hearing the dispatch on the radio, or if you're on attack channel, the dispatcher's calling you and saying, "By the way, three blocks away from you, we've got another shooting in progress," something like this, you may very well not know about the other incident going on. So let's talk a minute about some of those challenges and some of the ways once you recognize that it's happened, what are some of the things that we need to do?

Mark Rhame:

Bill, one small issue on that is that... I can give you a personal example. We were working some significant storms on one side of the county at one time. We were working our own event, no idea that anything else was going on. Came back to the primary dispatch channel when they advised us that a tornado touched down and had significant damage. We would've been a little bit more aggressive, at least in my thought, and to release units from my site, we didn't know it was going on. We had no clue. Basically I was still hogging resources because we didn't see the urgency. We were sitting there just working our site. As the incident commander at that site, I would've said, "No, we got to get these people back in service. There's another event that is more significant that needs those assets. We got to release them." But I had no knowledge of it.

Don Tuten:

You know, I think we always talk about communication between different agencies and different jurisdictions. The one thing we typically leave out is how critical it is for the comm centers to really meet and communicate. Because honestly, that's where it first hits the fan is those different comm centers. And if one comm center has an active event and they send out an alert to multiple jurisdictions, well, now we've started connecting those multiple jurisdictions. Even if it's not from the officers on the ground, it's still from the communication side of it, and we're starting to build that intel piece.

Adam Pendley:

And that's one of the things we talk about a lot too, to Mark's point and to what Don's saying as well, is that one of the first things you do when you set up an area command is tell everyone there is an area command so they know where they can get critical resources from, so they know that when they're done with resources, they get them back in service as quickly as possible. So setting up that comm aid or that communications between an area command and the individual sites is so critically important, which then leads to the second thing, and that is, we've talked about this a couple of times already, how important that early intelligence is. And if you can establish a pattern or you have some early information on who the attackers may be... Maybe think San Bernardino, where that was going to be a multi-site attack, but it was interrupted because of good early intelligence that was managed at the right level, that was able to intercept the additional attacks that were planned by those suspects.

Bill Godfrey:

What are some of the practical things for the sergeant on the ground, the lieutenant on the ground who hears the dispatch for the other event, is maybe not certain but pretty sure that their suspect is no longer on the scene? What are some of the practical things that we can give them in terms of tips on how to adjust? To Mark's point, make sure you're not hogging resources. You got the resources you need, but you're cutting other resources away or cutting them loose. What are some of those practical tips on how they might want to alternate or deviate from the standard response approach?

Don Tuten:

I think depending on the size of the agency, area discipline is a big issue. You don't want officers coming from a far distance or far area away to your site just to have to turn back and go back around. So I think there's recognition of that area discipline for those officers, knowing the resources that you have. If you're a smaller agency, maybe you start calling mutual aid pretty quick. That's one thing to get that additional resources in. If you're a larger agency, it's contacting those other zone lieutenants or commanders or whoever's in charge of that area, going, "Hey, listen, we're working this, just giving you a heads-up. I don't need any additional resources right now, but you never know what's coming up."

Mark Rhame:

Also, I think you want to make sure that your responders understand that freelancing is not allowed. That's something that we've really hit hard and put in our policies and practices. But if you have people freelancing, you're losing accountability. You're not managing your assets correctly. You need to make sure that people understand that they go to where their assignments are. When they're done with that assignment, they need to let their incident commander know they're available and ready to go to another event. Maybe they need to be released and sent to another location. But don't allow them people just to freelance and continue to do things outside of the command.

Adam Pendley:

Yeah, and then I would also say in a practical way, again, once all patients have been transported from your site, I say in these critical incidents, people might be in charge of more for longer than they expected when you have multiple sites, meaning you may have to tell that sergeant who's on the scene, "Hold what you got. Call me if anything changes. We're working multiple sites." And that sergeant may be doing more than he or she-

Don Tuten:

Because it's still a crime scene.

Adam Pendley:

Right. Absolutely.

Don Tuten:

Yeah. Yeah.

Bill Godfrey:

It's got to be a perimeter. Yeah. A perimeter.

Adam Pendley:

And then for those agency or those zones or agencies that might be out on the periphery that haven't been called in yet and they know a multi-attack's going on, if I were a sergeant of a squad on a midnight shift, I may call them all to a Walmart and say, "Hey, let's gear up and be ready. We haven't been called yet, but hey, the next call may come out in our zone and we're going to be ready, we're going to be together, and we're going to go."

Bill Godfrey:

And I think to Mark's point about the freelancing and the tasks and the assignment, and we were talking about this earlier, and I think it is a good idea to kind of do a whole topic on this, but if you don't have a specific task assignment, what the hell are you doing down range in the first place? It just becomes another person to get in the way, to cause a problem, end up with a blue-on-blue, crisscrossing and doing... We're searching the same room three times.

Don Tuten:

You're there to help but you don't know what your job is.

Bill Godfrey:

Right. And certainly in the first few minutes of the incident, you're not going to have a bountiful number of guns. You want those guns exactly where you need them and exactly when you need them. And if you don't have a way to push those assignments out quickly as the need arises, how the heck are you supposed to get this done? And just overwhelming in numbers. Well, Karla's giving me the 30-minute sign where I think we're at a good breaking point on this one. Any last thoughts on this before we leave it?

Adam Pendley:

Because I always have to have the last word. Again, I just think the mindset should be that this is the first attack. And 99% of the time, it may only be the one attack, but be somewhat prepared in the back of your mind-

Don Tuten:

What if?

Adam Pendley:

... for that 1% of the time, that over-convergence is not a good idea.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah. Final thoughts?

Mark Rhame:

Yeah, and I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but frankly, that's why, again, the importance of staging, building out those teams... Staging is not about slowing down, by the way. We say that over and over again. It's about being prepared to respond to an event, because let's face it. If you're not ready, that is a time killer. That will harm you more than anything else. Staging allows you to respond immediately when those teams are built and they're ready to go and they get their assignment. They know what their task and purpose is.

Bill Godfrey:

All right. Very good. Don, any last thoughts?

Don Tuten:

No, just, you can never overcommunicate unless you have a microphone in your hand. But talking to each other, you can never overcommunicate. And I think that's a big piece of it.

Bill Godfrey:

All right. Well, gentlemen, thank you very much. This is a fascinating topic to talk about and I think we've got several more for our next few podcasts to go through for the group. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us. I want to thank our producer Carla Torres for doing a great job in making us look and sound better. There's only so much you can do with filters about making us look better.

Don Tuten:

Sound, sound...

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah, the-

Don Tuten:

... is the key word.

Bill Godfrey:

Certainly on the sound side. If you have not subscribed to the podcast, please do so. If you have other people that you're working with that are not familiar with it, please share it. Share the information. Share the link. This doesn't really work unless we start to get everybody on the same page. So please do subscribe and share the podcast. And with that, we'll see you next time. Stay safe.

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