As Public Safety Threats Evolve, Police and Fire Personnel in Virginia Are Working Closer Together

  • Source: ARL Now
  • Published: 07/09/2021 12:00 AM

Over 13 years ago, Arlington’s fire and police departments first teamed up to better address active shooter situations. Since then, their partnership — called the Rescue Task Force — has become the standard for when police and fire personnel respond together to high-threat situations, according to The National Fire Protection Association. The departments’ model was even adopted for the 2012 London Olympics. In recent years, the task force has taken on a new threat requiring teamwork between police and fire: explosives. The expanding role of the task force reflects how the fire department’s responsibilities have evolved over the last decade, as well as an increased need for intra-agency cooperation to handle complex situations. As public safety threats have changed, so too have the duties of firefighters. Gone are the days when they just fought fires — now, they save lives in active shooter situations and defuse bombs.


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