NCSP and SPTC Deliver the A2S2: T&O Course

17 September, 2012

A2S2 T&O EMS and law enforcement participants move to cover in a direct threat situation during a training scenario. A2S2 T&O EMS participants treat an injured victim in an indirect threat environment, working together with law enforcement.

On August 28 and 29, 2012 the National Center for Security & Preparedness (NCSP) and the State Preparedness Training Center (SPTC), NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services delivered the Advanced Active Shooters Scenario: Tactics & Operations Course (A2S2: T&O) for the sixth time. Twenty-four emergency medical services (EMS), fire rescue, and law enforcement personnel attended. The course was taught by NCSP subject matter expert instructors from both EMS and law enforcement backgrounds. A2S2: T&O is a two day instructor-led performance-level offensive course. It is scenario-driven to guide participants through a mixture of situations that require emergency responders to focus on higher level objectives and making immediate judgments and decisions.

A2S2 T&O demonstrates the commitment of the NCSP and SPTC to providing high-end, multi-disciplined homeland security training. The course is designed around a potential Mumbai-style terrorist attack against the United States, particularly the state of New York. Such coordinated attacks might include small arms fire, automatic weapons, and improvised explosive device (IED) detonations at multiple locations in a jurisdiction. A2S2: T&O is high-tempo and high-stress to simulate an attack that could last for twelve or more hours, overwhelming local jurisdictions' capability to respond without significant assistance from other local, state, and federal agencies. The scenarios are built to be highly realistic, using live role players, emergency response vehicles, and specialized reality-based venues at the SPTC.

General topics covered during the A2S2: T&O course include a historical overview of the Mumbai attack, self and buddy care, IED awareness, task force movement. The course also covers service-specific skills. Law enforcement personnel were taught door breaching skills, linear target clearing, patrol officer movement, and room clearing. EMS personnel were taught Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC), hemorrhage control, triage, weapons clearing, and patient evacuation. Scenarios required the application and integration of skills learned in both general and service-specific instruction as participants worked together over the two day course.

Course participants included responders from across New York State, including the NYPD and FDNY. The students were highly satisfied overall; they noted specifically that the integration of EMS/fire rescue and law enforcement assets was useful and fills what they consider a pressing need in first responder training nationally. The next delivery of the A2S2 course is scheduled to be conducted on October 4 and 5, 2012.