Stopping Suicide Attacks Through Training

According to federal officials, suicide bombers are likely to attack in the United States, with a successful suicide bombing inflicting grave physical and psychological damage to the target population.

Emergency responders must train to protect their communities against such acts, as well as to prepare themselves to respond to potential suicide bombings, and an innovative program wants to help first responders deal with the threat of suicide bombers. Emergency Film Group of Edgartown, MA, has collaborated with terrorism experts around the country to produce a training program for responders called "Suicide Bomber." "Suicide Bomber:"

  • Outlines trends in suicide terrorism
  • Examines how different types of suicide bombs are constructed and concealed
  • Identifies common bomb targets.

Both pre-detonation and post-detonation responses are portrayed. For pre-detonation situations, the program shows dispatchers taking warning calls, mobilizing local and federal response teams, and dealing with the bomber, including the use of deadly force. For post-detonation situations, the program depicts responders identifying WMD agents, checking for secondary devices and managing victims.

To film the program, Gordon Massingham, president of Emergency Film Group, traveled with his film crew to California where he worked with Ventura County emergency response agencies as they conducted an exercise in a suicide response. The film crew was able to get up close and personal, and get many hours of realistic action footage. That footage has been combined with actual news footage of suicide bombings.

The program is in the final stages of production and will include a video or DVD and a leader's guide. Emergency Film Group said the program should serve as a resource for local emergency personnel such as fire fighters, law enforcement, bomb squads, EMS and emergency management, who can use the program to understand the complex issues involved in a terrorist suicide threat and begin to set up a plan that will work for their jurisdiction.

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