ALERRT tapped by FEMA to develop ‘Fire as a Weapon’ emergency response training program – Corridor News

Staff reports

SAN MARCOS – Texas State University’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERT) Center and the National Fire Protection Association have received a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop a cutting-edge online learning program to train firefighters and law enforcement to respond to Fire as a Weapon (FAAW) events.

The $400,000 grant from FEMA will enable ALERRT to develop a 4-hour e-learning version of the FAAW Integrated Response Training to be broadcast nationally. ALERRT has already developed a 16-hour in-person version of the FAAW Integrated Response Training, from which the eLearning course will be derived.

FAAW is the use of fire, smoke, or flammable materials to confuse first responders during an incident. Criminals and terrorists have used the FAAW in numerous incidents, such as the notorious 1993 Davidian standoff near Waco. FAAW incidents are continually evolving, both in magnitude and frequency, and training to mitigate FAAW must also continually evolve.

In early March, the FAAW Integrated Response Course was delivered in Arkansas to the Fayetteville Police and Fire Departments and the Springdale Police Department. The ALERRT eLearning team filmed the course presentations, practice stations and scenarios. These images will allow the team to script and streamline a four-hour e-learning course, with an expected September completion date.

The FAAW Integrated Response course addresses the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to respond to and stop an attack quickly and effectively. This includes stopping attackers, establishing unified incident command, extinguishing the fire, providing medical care to the injured, and facilitating the rapid evacuation of the injured. The target audience for this course includes federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement, firefighters, medical personnel, and telecommunications personnel likely to respond to and manage a FAAW incident.

The State of Texas ALERRT program was created and developed with the fundamental purpose of providing proven training to first responders to better protect their communities and save lives. Training should be relevant, standardized and constantly evaluated to ensure the latest threats are addressed. It encompasses realistic scenarios to prepare first responders to act, not just be aware of this clear and present threat.

Norma A. Roth