HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Redstone Arsenal hosted the Joint Public Safety Response to Active Shooter event on Wednesday.
The guest speaker was Mike Clumpner, a 26-year veteran of public safety, including in the fire service as a captain, a paramedic and law enforcement special operations. He's also president and CEO of Threats Suppression Inc. He's been teaching active shooter response for about 10 years.
He told WAFF 48 News the goal for the event was to teach all the different agencies gathered how to work together in an active shooter situation.
"We're bringing everyone together in the same room, which for a lot of these people, it's the first time they've ever been in a room like this with different agencies. So we put everyone on the same page. We explain what everyone's roles are so that we can understand how we can help each other. Active shooter is a community problem. It needs a community solution," said Clumpner.
WAFF was told that 110 people were there from emergency services organizations and school systems. It's a mix of more than 30 federal, state and local agencies.
Tennessee Valley agencies like the Huntsville Police Department, the Madison County Sheriff's Office and Madison Fire & Rescue were there.
"I think with everything we see out in the news media today, every department needs to have a plan, every city needs to have a plan. Because it's not a matter of 'if,' it's a matter of 'when,'" said Dustin Spires, the captain over training and EMS for Madison Fire & Rescue.
The event lasted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the NASA Activities Building.
They listened to active shooter history and how others responded during those events.
After lunch, the emergency responders got the chance to be involved in active shooter event exercises.
Clumpner also addressed what officials should be looking at when preparing for an active shooter event on a military installation.
"In a military base, you have a couple different issues. You have different degrees of authority. You have NASA and Army here. And then you have varying levels of resources available. Resources contained to the base and resources coming from off the base. You have to be able to recognize how you're going to utilize the resources you have here and then how you're going to accommodate the influx of resources coming off the base. You're right, military installations provide a unique challenge but a lot of businesses provide a unique challenge. Everyone has their own little 'wrinkle' and effectively deal with it," he said.
He went on to say that practice makes perfect when it comes to planning response to an active shooter event.
One way that Redstone does this well is through the annual full-scale emergency exercise.
"You have to test your system under stress," Clumpner said.
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