Active shooter training conducted at Training Center Petaluma

Written by Jay Allen
Photos by Petty Officer 1st Class Katharine Ingham

Under a DHS grant, and at no cost to the Coast Guard, instructors from the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training (NCBRT) center located at Louisiana State University conducted a three-day Law Enforcement Active Shooter Emergency Response course at Training Center Petaluma from Oct. 23-25, 2018. The course addressed technical aspects of planning and implementing a rapid law enforcement deployment to an active shooter incident through classroom presentations, hands-on performance-based field training, and scenario-based practical exercises.

Thirty-two participants representing 12 different local, state, and federal agencies trained on the latest response tactics and techniques for active shooter incidents. Participants included active duty and Reserve Coast Guard law enforcement officers; California Department of Corrections; California Fire; California Fish and Wildlife; Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Monterey County Sheriff’s Offices; City of San Francisco Sheriff and Police; Cities of Antioch and Hillsborough Police; and members of the San Francisco State University Police.

Volunteers from TRACEN Petaluma acted as both perpetrators and victims, setting the stage for a dynamic training environment, and providing our most junior members some insight to a Coast Guard career in law enforcement.

Feedback from all participants confirmed the value of the training provided. In particular, Coast Guard participants commented on the applicability to the maritime environment, not just shore facility response.

“Unfortunately, the sad reality is that active shooter situations are common in American society today,” commented Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Johnson. “We as Coast Guard members are trained to save and protect lives, and this training helps to accomplish that goal. As first responders, we hope to never receive that call but we will be prepared and ready through training like this.”

“Being that the Coast Guard is primarily a sea going service with its law enforcement roots being in the maritime domain, I felt that the Law Enforcement Active Shooter Emergency Response training was invaluable to me as a Coast Guard police department officer based at a major training center,” said Officer Mohamed Satti. “Not only does the training provide CGPD officers the individual skill sets necessary to perform effectively in an active shooter situation, but it also allows us to familiarize ourselves with local law enforcement that would most likely come to our aid in the event that an active shooter were to take place on the facility. Due to the specialized nature of the training I received from the very knowledgeable and experienced training staff I feel that I am even better prepared to live up to the commandants philosophy of being Ready, Relevant, and Responsive to the challenges that I, as a CGPD officer, may have to face.”

Training Center Petaluma may serve as a host for future NCBRT exportable training including the Active Threat Integrated Response Course. This course is designed to improve integration between law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services in active shooter events. The course provides law enforcement officers with key medical skills based on tactical emergency casualty care guidelines that can be used at the point of injury to increase survivability of victims. The course also provides a model framework for law enforcement, fire, and EMS to integrate responses during an active shooter event through the rescue task force concept using the Active Shooter Incident Management Checklist.

For more on the NCBRT and to investigate hosting courses in your region, please visit:

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