911 Staffers Attend Public Safety Communications Workshop

The Deputy Director of the Lackawanna County 911 Center and three supervisors attended a public safety communications training in Bethlehem, PA, to learn how to better handle the intricacies of active shooter incidents.                

Deputy Director John Lewis and supervisors Joseph Klapatch, Anna Kearney, and Paul Murphy went to the workshop presented by APCO Institute.  They were able to gather valuable information and practical experience for addressing the challenges posed by active shooter incidents.                

It is vitally important that telecommunicators be cognizant of the challenges an active shooter incident presents and know in advance how to properly address the situation.                

An active shooter incident is much more difficult to deal with than any other armed subject call or violent in progress incident for one simple reason – media coverage.                

These incidents historically generate great attention, live on-the-scene coverage and a large amount of public scrutiny.  This type of activity poses a grave threat to public safety.                

The telecommunicator must handle a multitude of issues such as, providing information, directing authorities to where they need to be, and guiding law enforcement on what has to be done.                

At the program, the 911 staffers: were introduced to the phases of an active shooter incident; learned the difference between active shooter incidents vs. school shootings; examined law enforcement, fire service and EMS roles in active shooter incidents; discussed response and secondary dangers;  and reviewed the role a telecommunicator plays in an active shooter incident.

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