FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Loudoun County, VA (March 19, 2022): This morning the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) and Loudoun County Combined Fire Rescue Services (LC-CFRS) held an emergency drill for a response to an active school threat utilizing expanded training and policies to respond to critical and active violence incidents.
The training simulated an active shooting at Trailside Middle School and involved nearly 200 public safety personnel, as well as personnel from Loudoun County Public Schools, Loudoun County Office of Emergency Management, Loudoun County Parks, Recreation and Community Services, Loudoun County General Services, and numerous volunteers.
As part of their combined efforts, the LCSO and LC-CFRS established High Threat Advisory Teams and developed protocols for front-line supervisors who are first on scene for critical incidents. In situations involving active violence, the first responding supervisors from both the LCSO and LC-CFRS immediately establish a joint command structure to work fluidly and efficiently to stop the threat and render aid to any victims.
Although both LCSO and LC-CFRS have collaborated on critical and active violence training for several years, the High Threat Training Advisory Team was officially developed in February 2021. This team works cooperatively across disciplines to develop new levels of integrated training, policy development, and combined response initiatives. The integrated High Threat Team was recently recognized at the 2021 Governor’s Fire Service Awards for exemplifying dedication to sound management, principles, and coordination.
This joint command, called Branch Operations, precedes the establishment of a Unified Command (Command Post), and controls the specific needs and resources necessary to address the incident. For large-scale events, a unified command (Command Post) would be established to further coordinate and plan a joint response to the incident.
The training includes a Combined Command Competency Lab for LCSO and LC-CFRS front-line supervisors, placing them through scenarios to develop an understanding of the resources needed and available to handle critical incidents from each respective agency.
Training for front-line supervisors from the LCSO and LC-CFRS from the High Threat Team is held annually. The training has drawn the interest of neighboring first responders, with members of the Northern Virginia Emergency Response System (NVERS), and multiple federal agencies observing today’s training.
Additionally, members of the LCSO and LC-CFRS hold combined Rescue Task Force and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care training annually which enables emergency medical services to provide medical intervention faster during an active shooter incident.