Emergency personnel learn about active shooter threats at Charlotte EMS conference

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Thousands of paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians and firefighters are in Charlotte for a three to four-day EMS Today conference, one of the largest for emergency medical service officials in the country.

Over the course of several days at the Charlotte Convention Center, those at the conference can attend sessions on a wide variety of topics, including active threats.

[LINK: NFPA 300: Active shooter situations]

John Montes, the emergency service specialist for the National Fire Protection Association, spoke in front of a packed room Thursday morning about his studies on active shooter events, including the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, the Las Vegas shooting and most recently, the shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

"Plan today for what may happen tomorrow," Montes said.

Montes has helped draft “NFPA 3000,” a universal plan that will standardize how first responders across the United States prepare for, respond to and recover from tragic events.

"One of the things the standard wants to do is develop these integrated teams of fire, law enforcement and EMS teams going in together and going in and rescuing people," Montes said.

Montes said while the focus is to help first responders, a big part of the plan has to do with how the public can help during an active shooter situation.

He added that many people know what to do if there's a fire, but they don't know what to do if there is an active shooter. The NFPA creates a standard that local agencies will have to figure out how to implement.

One of the standards asks local agencies to train people on how to stop others from bleeding, which may mean installing certain kits in buildings for everyone’s access.

Montes said another standard focuses on the recovery from a major event.

Montes said a Charlotte firefighter is one of the 46 people tasked with the details of NFPA 3000, which is expected to be approved in April. At that point, it will be up to local agencies to implement it.

"We all need to be on the same page. It’s a whole community responsibility," Montes said.

Medic officials said EMS Today has provided the agency with great exposure.

Some staff are hosting lectures, giving tours at the new headquarters and offering ride-alongs.

The event is also a huge recruitment opportunity.

Medic deputy director, Jonathan Studnck said they've already received more than a dozen applications.

"We're always recruiting,” Studnek said.

Medic has 224 paramedics on staff.

The conference runs through Friday.

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