By Larry Christopher – FBISTLCAAA life member
On February 20, 2019, representatives of the FBI St. Louis office; Dr. Stephen Liang, MD; and members of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital emergency room staff provided guidance on how to respond to mass casualty events to members of the FBI St. Louis Citizens Academy Alumni Association. Presenters agreed that run, hide, and fight remains the recommended approach for dealing with active shooters. They explained how those in danger should interact with law enforcement during an event: police are there primarily to secure the site and neutralize the shooter(s), not to rescue or interact with victims. Stay clear of them, and do not engage except to respond to commands or provide information. At the end of the seminar, all those present participated in a drill that reinforced what was learned.
The seminar also addressed how to deal with the wounded following a mass casualty event. Statistics show that a large percentage of deaths at these events are from blood loss following wounds to extremities. Those deaths, Dr. Liang stressed, are preventable. Recognizing this, the American College of Surgeons, the FBI, and others created a protocol known as the Hartford Consensus which makes stopping bleeding the highest priority following shootings, explosions, and other similar events. Medics and emergency room personnel at the seminar explained principles of trauma care response and presented different procedures to stop the loss of blood.