Improving survival from active shooter events: The Hartford Consensus

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The recent mass casualty shooting events in the United States have had a profound effect on all segments of society. The medical, law enforcement, fire/rescue, and EMS communities have each felt the need to respond. It is important that these efforts occur in a coordinated manner to generate policies that will enhance survival of the victims of these events. Such policies must provide a synchronized multi-agency approach that is immediately available within the communities affected by such tragedies.
The American College of Surgeons brought together senior leaders from all the aforementioned disciplines to produce a document that will stimulate discussion and ultimately lead to strategies to improve survival for the victims. A day-long conference on April 2, 2013, in Hartford, Connecticut obtained input from medical, law enforcement, fire/rescue, EMS first responders, and military experts. The conference relied upon data and evidence from existing military and recent civilian experiences, and was sensitive to the multiple agencies that play a role in responding to mass casualty shootings. The meeting, known as the Hartford Consensus Conference, produced a concept paper entitled “Improving Survival from Active Shooter Events.” The purpose of this document is to promote local, state, and national policies to improve survival in these uncommon, but horrific events. The following short essay describes methods to minimize loss of life in these terrible incidents.
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