The Vancouver Police Department has initiated a new joint “rescue taskforce” in partnership with Vancouver Fire Rescue Services, BC Emergency Health Services, and E-Comm to respond to active deadly threat situations.

“Our police training has evolved in response to active deadly threats in other parts of the world. By partnering and training with other emergency services personnel, we can ensure a more effective response that will help to keep victims alive by getting them medical treatment much faster,” says Superintendent Steve Eely, VPD.

With this new rescue taskforce, police will continue to assume responsibility for locating the active deadly threat and making the area safe. Police will now work with firefighters to stabilize and extract wounded people to designated safe zones, where they can be further treated by paramedics with BC Emergency Health Services and transported to hospital.

“Rescue taskforce is another example of how first responders are working together to make communities safer in Vancouver. It is unfortunate that the possibility of an active threat exists, but preparing for this low-frequency, high-consequence event is no different than our ongoing investments in disaster and earthquake preparedness. We need to train, practice, and prepare, but hope never to deploy,” says Captain Jonathan Gormick, Vancouver Fire Rescue Services.

Training began last fall and is ongoing. It involves classroom-based instruction and exercises in the field that simulate an attack. More than 700 police officers and 400 firefighters have been trained to date. The new training model has also involved E-Comm and BC Emergency Health Services.

This training is one of many initiatives being implemented by the VPD to keep the public safe during an active deadly threat. Last year, the VPD released a video encouraging citizens to learn what they can do during an active deadly threat situation.