Author(s): Angelo Verzoni. Published on November 1, 2017.

The New Deadliest

The Las Vegas shooting will affect the development of NFPA 3000, the new standard for active shooter response. The question is to what extent.

BY ANGELO VERZONI

On the evening of October 1, a gunman on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas opened fire on the crowd at a nearby outdoor music festival. Armed with an arsenal of weapons, including a semi-automatic rifle modified to fire like an automatic, he killed 58 people and injured more than 500 in what is now the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

In time, the lessons learned from Las Vegas will be used in the development of NFPA 3000, Preparedness and Response to Active Shooter and/or Hostile Events, which is slated to be released sometime late next year or in early 2019. But already, the incident has launched a national dialogue about how to best prevent and respond to active shooter events, and it has raised an array of critical questions: Where should responders, including fire and emergency medical services personnel, operate during active shooter and other hostile events? Should hotels increase security? Will police tactics need to change to pay more attention to shooters from above?

Public safety officials across the country are likely asking themselves these questions and more, as they fear the next mass shooting could happen in their own backyards. “It is the new normal,” Jack Ewell, a police captain who commands special operations for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, told NFPA staff in an interview the day after the Las Vegas shooting. “After each [active shooter event] we scrutinize the incident and try to learn and determine what additional measures we can put in place to try and stop them, and if we can’t stop them, to minimize the casualties involved.”

NFPA Journal will present more extensive coverage of the Las Vegas shooting, its aftermath, and its impact on the development of NFPA 3000. The NFPA 3000 technical committee convenes for the third time in late November. To follow the development of the standard online.

ANGELO VERZONI is staff writer for NFPA Journal. Top Photograph: Getty Images