Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ferguson, MO Riots: Lessons Learned and Transcript of Last Nights Police Traffic

Ferguson, MO Riots: Lessons Learned and Transcript of Last Nights Police Traffic
Last night I followed along with the Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop C as they responded to the various emergencies across Ferguson and the greater St. Louis area. I unfortunately assumed this would happen along with nearly everyone in the emergency response field. 

Politicians Get In the Way: The command staff had a plan and attempted to execute the plan; however, politicians got in the way and a much larger force of protestors showed up from outside the community than expected. Several major mistakes were made from the beginning  including having the announcement during prime-time TV just to appease the politicians who thought they could make a career statement from this case. This announcement should have been made in the morning not at night when looting would be easiest for the mob to effect. 

Tactical EMS: As a first responder I applaud the efforts by Fire/EMS and Law Enforcement. I was glad to hear EMS were issued revolvers and ballistic vests (just for officers in some agencies), but the fire departments were not issued any weapons or protective vests. This left the fire department unable to enter any active crime scene whereas ems were able to enter these areas much faster. I would have thought after the riots and the huge potential of more riots last night the community would have had their emergency responders train together and take advantage of some federal money to equip and train all of the responders to respond in an active incident utilizing ballistic gear and advanced tactics. I can think of at least three instances last night where this would have made a major difference and that is just what I could hear from the Police side of things (yelling for an ambulance for a shooting victim, stabbing victim and multiple bottle/brick victims sometimes waiting 15-20 minutes for a unit to respond). EMS units should have been implanted with the various PD units to stabilize patients and potentially injured officers; however, this was not the case and it didn't appear that any tactical ems was utilized. 

IFAK: Multiple stabbings and shootings in the area were reported and care was delayed for quite awhile. If you go out, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE carry an IFAK with you. If you have and carry a CCW why would you not carry one, its essential. If you are going into a potential war zone please be prepared. Last night was a powder keg waiting to go off and anyone entering the area without ballistic protection and IFAC and a weapon were not prepared.  Don't have an IFAK or know where to start? Here is mine (LINK HERE) it either stays on my hip or my EDC bag and I go nowhere without it! After you get that IFAK get some basic Emergency Medical Training (EMT or First Responder are both great options!)

Common Operating Picture: The 9/11 commission, Katrina and virtually every other instructor I have talked to across the country realize that Communication interoperability is a major issue! Last night this was on display. Emergency communications were covered by radio checks due to patching multiple frequencies together (high-band, low-band, trunking, ultra high and others were all used last night and patched via Command and Communications). While command and communications had access to almost every responders communication systems the boots on the ground couldn't talk to other units a block away and this put a heavy load on the communications officers. Some of the dispatchers were amazing and others..... well they could have and probably did get people killed. There was a unified command and major pre-planning went into command and control; with that said how in the world were communications so bad? We as First Responders really need to come together as a whole on the national level and fix this crap before we get more responders killed. Its been a major know issue for a decade, we have thrown billion of dollars at the issue- there is no excuse for this!

People Are Idiots: No matter what the reason when given an opportunity people will always be stupid and act in an irrational manner. As a society we say we have evolved, but since the LA riots have we actually evolved? I cop was found to have done his job and killed a kid who robbed a store and then proceeded to attack a cop. Let's go out and steal 20 pairs of Air Jordan's, Chicken (yes they looted Churches Chicken look through the pictures below), car parts, toys for our kids and then burn down all of the small businesses in our community. Makes sense to protest violence with violence to me..... Now that, this is out of the way what are we going to do to prepare for idiots being idiots? Well we recognize when these things are likely to happen (i.e. my prediction of things last night) and we go into (or hopefully avoid) the situation armed with the 7 P's (Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance). If you plan for civil unrest go with ballistic protection and someone to cover your six and have the ability to give suppressive fire.

Relying on Government Is Not The Answer: No matter the intentions of the government or its agents we simply cannot rely on it to protect the public and provide services all of the time. Look at Katrina and every other major event, it takes awhile to coordinate a major response and if you expect local first responders to handle something huge, I will tell you right now as a first responder..... It just isn't going to happen. Agencies are staffed to handle every day emergencies not mass casualty incidents on a daily basis. NYC and other major cities can handle one or two major incidents in their city but an emergency across the a region is something that no agency can handle no matter what the budget or staffing. Last night with all of the pre-planning that was preformed there were still countless calls that couldn't be handled or had severe delays simply because they ran out of boots on the ground. I heard countless calls for mutual aid that went unanswered and clearly the eight or so tactical teams were not enough. 

Are You Prepared To Get Out Of Dodge?: Do you have a bug-out-bag or other bag at the ready with everything you would need to survive if you are run out of your home or vehicle? I carry my EDC bag everywhere, while I'm not in an urban environment very ofter it is well setup for the rural type of survival I would have to effect (Check out my EDC Bag HERE). If I were in an urban environment I would have ballistic protection, my AR pistol and spare magazines and other urban survival items instead of some of my bushcraft items. What would your load out be? I did this Escape and Evade Kit (LINK HERE) quite awhile ago to fit a post requirement for a friends page and it would have major changes now, but its about the only tactical style load-out I have ever put on the blog to give you an idea of some place to start.

Some Pictures From Last Night:

 Below is a transcript of my updates last night on the 7P's Facebook page in-case you missed it!
7 P's Blog Posted by Joshua Shuttlesworth · 18 hours ago Ferguson, MO Thread: I will be updating here with scanner traffic from the State Police Tactical Operations Channel 

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