Response to Violent Incidents: Nine Questions You Should Ask

Questions inspired by 2012 Violent Incident Summit with IAFC, IAFF, CFSI, NFFF, NFPA, & NVFC

Do you know the nine questions you should ask that could help keep you and your firefighters out of harm’s way in a potentially violent situation? As the tragic events in Webster, NY, showed, not every violent incident can be anticipated. But fire, EMS, and law enforcement experts agree that being prepared can often make a difference.

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is joined by the IAFC, IAFF, CFSI, NFPA, and NVFC in this new effort to get fire chiefs, company officers, and firefighters to ask critical questions that will help evaluate a department’s ability to effectively deal with a violent situation. Nine Questions You Should Ask is the work of Chief John Oates of East Hartford, CT, based on the report from a focus group of fire, EMS, and law enforcement leaders held last year in Baltimore. That report has identified 14 national recommendations to identify potential risks and stay safe. The full report is available at

Chief Oates has also has written an article summarizing the efforts of these fire service organizations and leaders to develop tools for firefighters as part of Firefighter Life Safety Initiative #12, Violent Incident Response.

Detailed information on the questions and resource material, including the final report, are available at