Since 2005, the emergency response in Ventura County has been working towards truly integrating the response to acts of violence. In 2010 we developed a workgroup with local law, fire, and EMS agencies to develop the Rescue Task Force program. By 2013 we were able to train all firefighters within the county and a large percentage of our law enforcement and dispatchers.
On November 7th, 2018 a gunman entered Borderline Bar & Grill and killed 12 innocent members of the community, including Sgt. Ron Helus of Ventura Co. Sheriff’s Office. Less than 15hrs after the shooting, 2 devastating wildfires started within the county and would eventually burn 100k acres and destroy over 1500 structures. Our entire response community should have had the time to grief and recover from the Borderline Incident but instead, were forced into action for the next 2 weeks.
During this discussion we will go over lessons learned from the Borderline response, dealing with multiple, large scale incidents in a short amount of time, and peer/crisis support.