Between 2000 and 2016 there have been 220 active shooter events in the U.S. that claimed the lives of 667 people and wounded another 825, including a mass shooting in San Bernardino just over two years ago. In 2004, Rancho Cucamonga fire and police personnel embarked on an ambitious journey to prepare itself, the community and neighboring emergency responders for preventing and responding to active shooter situations. Most recently, Rancho Cucamonga joined almost four dozen industry experts who came together with the National Fire Protection Association to develop a national standard for community response to active shooter and hostile events.
Rancho Cucamonga was one of a few California public safety agencies who joined other law enforcement, emergency medicine, and fire service personnel in drafting the groundbreaking new standard that was finalized last month. NFPA, which is a global nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, and loss due to fire and related hazards, led the effort based on their accredited, time-tested process to build consensus on developing industry standards. NFPA 3000: Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program provides a framework for first responders and communities to prepare for, respond to and recover from such horrific incidents. It was expediently drafted and finalized following the Pulse Nightclub shooting and officially becomes available to public safety agencies and communities on May 1, 2018.
NFPA 3000 committee members drew upon their public safety experience and technical expertise learned through numerous active shooter events to develop a comprehensive standard for communities around the globe. The standard is based on four main guiding principles: unified command, integrated response, planned recovery and whole community. It also addresses how to conduct a community risk assessment along with a community-wide program that involves schools, facility managers, building owners, safety and security consultants, risk managers, government officials and public safety personnel.
This is not the first time Rancho Cucamonga has been involved in improving response protocols and community outreach efforts at the national level. Since 2012, we’ve been an active member of the Committee on Tactical Emergency Casualty Care, which is a global organization dedicated to advancing pre-hospital care for preventable death injuries.
Over the last 15 years, Rancho Cucamonga police and fire personnel have facilitated 142 dynamic training sessions to more than 6,000 first responders throughout the region. The training grew into a whole-community approach which has collectively trained over 20,000 civilians from schools, businesses, places of worship, and community classes. This training focused on empowering people with proper survival strategies and medical intervention skills should they find themselves in an active shooter scenario. The community-based Surviving an Active Shooter class has become a model for the NFPA 3000 standard.
Training and education provided to allied agencies and the community will better prepare our region for emergency situations. This comprehensive program builds community resiliency and helps harden our target against terrorist acts.