Unified Response to Violent Incidents

Fire and Law Enforcement Training Together To Respond Together


It's a tragic reality of today's world: California’s first responders -- firefighters and law enforcement officers -- must prepare for the unthinkable. That means working together to save lives in an active shooter incident, mass casualty event or terrorist attack.. 

Cal-JAC's Unified Response to Violent Incidents (URVI) is a first-of-its-kind response protocol dedicated to bringing law enforcement and fire together in training, so they can be ready.

URVI, which was developed under a grant from Cal OES, is a train-the-trainer course that prepares participants to conduct joint-training classes and exercises for fire service and law enforcement first responders at active shooter and other violent incidents. The training incorporates classroom training, realistic video scenarios and live regional training exercises, with fire and law enforcement training side-by-side. 

 WATCH: Los Angeles Police and Fire Active Shooter Drill at Paramount Studios

“One of the hardest things to duplicate is the stress that the responding officers and firefighters are going to encounter,” said Sacramento Metro Fire Department Captain Shawn Daly. “Having the chaos, the screaming victims, the fake blood and gore that they’re going to see helps prepare them for what they would experience when they reach a scene like this.”

More than 80 fire departments and 75 law enforcement agencies have participated in URVI training and incorporated elements of the training into their response protocols. URVI techniques were employed in the San Bernardino shooting in 2015. URVI has also been approved as the core curriculum for U.S. Navy Region Southwest, which includes California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.

WATCH: Cal-JAC Unified Response to Violent Incidents - Navy Response Scenario

Exercises such as these are paramount to increasing safety within a community. This is a “train-the-trainer” program, where participants are department-designated instructors expected to learn the course and then conduct the training back home. This format ensures that more firefighters and law enforcement officers in more communities will be exposed to this level of training.

“This type of incident can happen in anybody’s jurisdiction, in any city, in any town, it doesn’t have to be large,” said CAL Fire Battalion Chief Russ Fowler. “When a tragedy like this strikes, you have two options: you can either send your people to respond without a plan and hope for the best, or you can take action right now and start preparing them.”

“Training such as the Cal-JAC’s URVI coursework demonstrates how firefighters must train for the issues facing today’s communities,” said Cal-JAC Chair Dan Terry. “New threats exist, but if and when they occur, California’s firefighters and police officers will need to be ready.”