News & Happenings

November 13, 2018

Instructor Recounts Use of Rescue Task Force Concept During Response to Active Shooter Event

On November 12, 2018, Matthew Propp, who is an LSU NCBRT/ACE instructor and a New Mexico paramedic, responded to an active shooter event at the Ben E. Keith company warehouse in South Albuquerque. Propp recounts his experience using the rescue task force concept in response to this event.

Well they say it's not if, it's when. "When" for us came at 6:20 last night. As the radio traffic increased, it became apparent that we were responding to an active shooter event. 


As we arrived we did what we always do, revert to training. It's no secret that training for these responses is a passion of mine, but I, like many others, always thought it wouldn't happen. 


What did happen was a flawless EMS response, and a true test of our Rescue Task Force concept. Did it work? Absolutely. 


As we entered the scene, in full armor and a compliment of trauma gear, we were immediately met with patients. Patients with multiple gunshots, and critical in nature. Under cover from APD officers, we started rapid treatment and extraction. Albuquerque Ambulance units were waiting and ready to transport. Three critical patients with combat care, off scene in less than ten minutes. 

As our partners from AFR and other BCFD units arrived, we integrated seamlessly to build more RTF's in the event they were needed. 


The headlines this morning read "3 in critical condition after active shooter". If not for the rapid deployment of EMS resources under this Active Shooter/RTF concept, those headlines would certainly have read as "3 killed in active shooter event."


To say I'm proud of my crew is an understatement. They've taken this training seriously from the start, and it showed last night. I'm also proud of how this response went, and it solidifies the NEED for this kind of training and this kind of response.


Matthew Propp

Instructor, LSU NCBRT/ACE

Lieutenant/Paramedic, Bernalillo County Fire Department

Tactical Paramedic, New Mexico State Police