Multi-Agency Training Exercise at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena

Contact: Carroll Wills, California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee
(916) 799-8148 (cell);

Fire and Law Enforcement Training Together for the Unthinkable

Wide-Ranging Exercise at Rose Bowl Stadium Tests Readiness for Active Shooter Attack

(PASADENA, CA) More than 100 firefighters and law enforcement officers from nearly a dozen separate agencies converged on Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena Wednesday morning after the sound of gunfire rang out in the morning air. Dozens of people lay on the ground and more tried to flee the scene in panic.

It was all part of a realistic multi-agency training exercise that will help fire and police agencies throughout the state better prepare to respond together to mass casualty events.

The exercise simulated an attack with multiple shooters targeting patrons arriving for a rock concert at the Rose Bowl. The scenario was played out in real time, as responding officers reacted to uncertain movements of the shooters. Firefighters and police officers responded together to practice a medical response inside the perimeter, aided by dozens of volunteers – many made up with realistic gunshot wounds.

When we see what is happening in the world around us, we ponder when it will happen here,” said Pasadena Fire Chief Bertral Washington. “Having the opportunity to train together under realistic conditions will set us up to respond quickly and effectively to save lives and protect the public.”

Firefighters and police officers from Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, San Marino, South Pasadena and San Gabriel were involved in the exercise. Pasadena Fire Department and Pasadena Police Department were the lead agencies, and coordinated activities in the drill. Security and staff of Rose Bowl Stadium also took part in the exercise, utilizing the exercise to conduct their own active shooter response training.

The realistic, elaborate exercise was coordinated by the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Cal-JAC), a statewide labor-management training partnership, based on its Unified Response to Violent Incidents (URVI) training protocol. URVI brings law enforcement and fire together to train on techniques for treating shooting victims while a scene is being secured. More than 80 fire and law enforcement agencies throughout California have conducted URVI training.

Large events at venues such as the Rose Bowl create special concerns for our local responders,” said Yvonne de la Peña, Executive Director of the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee. “Having the opportunity to train under realistic conditions in the venue itself gives our first responders a chance to feel the stress, coordinate efforts and make critical decisions in real time.”

Video, images and techniques practiced in the exercise will be used as part of an enhanced skills module for the URVI training program, which is underwritten by a grant from the California Office of Emergency Services.

TheCalifornia Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committeeis a labor-management training partnership co-sponsored by California Professional Firefighters and the California Office of State Fire Marshal.

For more information about URVI and the response, visit