EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The FBI El Paso Field Office, the El Paso Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety brought together multiple government and law enforcement/first responder leaders at the federal, state, and local level, to continue the preparedness to respond and manage a mass casualty critical incident.

The tabletop exercise, a discussion-based event, was designed to bring first responders from different agencies within El Paso County together to discuss their role and response to a real-world large-scale emergency and to continue to advance interagency teamwork and collaboration.

“Active Shooter incidents are a reality, and no community is immune from it happening as the community of El Paso knows,” said FBI El Paso Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey R. Downey. “This exercise gives all of El Paso first responders, government leaders, and emergency organizations another opportunity to work together to refine our response to potential incidents in the region. We hope we don’t have to deploy for another mass incident again, but in case we do, the public should feel confident we have a very capable law enforcement community in the country responding.”

The tabletop exercise was held at Armed Forces Reserve Center, 11701 Montana Avenue, El Paso, Texas, and was facilitated by members of the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group, Crisis Management Unit based in Washington, D.C.      

The exercise focused on the critical decisions which would need to be made in the first minutes, hours, and days following a large-scale event. Among the issues discussed and exercised were:

  • Coordinating the large-scale response by law enforcement to any active shooter event,
  • Coordinating Fire and Emergency medical response,
  • Communicating quickly and effectively with the public on the situation, and need for them to remain away from the incident location,
  • Establish an area away from the incident where families could be reunited with their family members; and
  • Command, Control, and interoperable communications between all response agencies.

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