Cambridge, Ohio hosts LSU NCBRT/ACE Active Shooter Training for Emergency Responders to Learn Integrated Response Skills


In September, LSU NCBRT conducted the Active Threat Integrated Response Course (ATIRC) PER-340 in Cambridge, Ohio at the request of the Cambridge, Ohio Fire Department. The department requested the training in response to the growing trend of active shooter events across the country.

The goal of the fire department, as well as local law enforcement and EMS agencies, was to help emergency responders learn techniques to work together in an effort to save more lives.

“We do a lot of training on active shooting,” Steve Helton, EMS coordinator for the Cambridge Fire Department said. “But, our chief was interested in dual training with our police department. We had never done that before and we were woefully unprepared if we were to have any mass shooting incident. We needed the framework for us to get together with local law enforcement and figure out what it will look like for us in a small community with limited resources.”

Along with the Cambridge fire and police departments, several Guernsey County agencies took part in the training. These included the county EMS, Guernsey County sheriff’s office, dispatchers, and members of the Noble County Sheriff’s Department.

Lt. Tim Ferguson of the Cambridge Police Department said officers are seeing a growing trend of schools under attack, and they believe these events are happening more frequently.

“We recognize that we have to do the training and we need to focus on step by step, getting in there, and being quick and effective,” Ferguson said. “This gave us a true understanding of what our job roles will be and how we will execute should anything happen.”

Those who took the course listed several ways the ATIRC class benefitted them and will help them in the future. Helton said in his department, many officers are not used to entering a “warm zone” (a scene where the threat has not been neutralized). He said this course taught participants that they can train to do that with law enforcement and operate safely. At the same time, law enforcement participants said they now feel better equipped to assist in medical situations in order to help the wounded.

The course includes training on wound care, stopping bleeding, and attending to gunshot wounds for victims who can be helped by immediate care.

“We are used to going to a threat and trying to neutralize that threat,” Ferguson added. “We learned we can help medically as well. That was just something that was never part of our training. But we received really good wound care training and learned about tending to victims in order of importance.”

As a result of the training, the Cambridge Fire Department has now implemented Standard Operating Guidelines (SOG) for response to active shooter situations. Helton said the development of a plan based on the ATIRC training will prove extremely valuable in the future.

“Before, there was nothing in writing about what we do when we get there,” Helton said. “This class exceeded our expectations.”

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LSU NCBRT/ACE is a nationally recognized center for emergency preparedness and response training located at Louisiana State University’s flagship campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We provide mobile training to both the national and international emergency response community. LSU NCBRT/ACE has expertise in research, development and delivery of training in the areas of specialized law enforcement operations; biological incident response; food and agriculture safety and security; school safety; and instructional design and technique. For more information on LSU NCBRT/ACE’s courses and resources, please visit