Fire departments are an integral part of any mass-shooting response. As such, chiefs should partner with local law-enforcement agencies that can train firefighters to respond with a higher level of situational awareness, said August Vernon, operations officer for the Forsyth County (N.C.) Office of Emergency Management.

Vernon is a military veteran who served in Iraq and teaches courses on incident management and mass violence/mass shootings. FIRE CHIEF spoke with Vernon about the threat of violence to firefighters and their new role — especially fire/paramedics and EMTs — when responding to such incidents. Vernon discusses the risks firefighters face, the kinds of training needed and whether firefighters should be armed.

Read the entire story in FIRE CHIEF, our sister publication.