Announcing the new ACEP High Threat Emergency Casualty Care Task Force

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is proud to announce the launching of the new, High Threat Emergency Casualty Care Task Force (HTECCTF). The task force will be under the leadership of Co-Chairs Gina Piazza, DO, FACEP and David Callaway, MD, FACEP with Debra Perina, MD, FACEP, ACEP Board Liaison

Since 2000, there have been over 200 active shooter incidents, resulting in over 1216 victims with over 548 deaths. This tally does not include gang violence, bombings, non- gun related mass assaults or other gun- related violence. In 2011, the multi-disciplinary Committee for Tactical Emergency Casualty Care, was formed to address this emerging threat. In 2014, the first Hartford Consensus document was published that further articulated a critical gap in prehospital preparedness. Later that year, ACEP participated in a multi-specialty working group funded by the Department of Homeland Security and coordinated by the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO). This working group produced a white paper that identified the lack of high threat prehospital response guidelines as one of the top five critical gaps in domestic EMS preparedness.

In the fall of 2015, The White House issued a call to action to address the challenges of reducing morbidity and mortality from active shooter incidents and terrorist attacks and to expedite the translation of combat lessons learned to the civilian setting.

ACEP is in a position to serve as an effective coordinating body across professional organizations that represent EMS, trauma care, and emergency medical services.

The purpose of this two-year initiative is to create a comprehensive strategy to address trauma care from point of injury through definitive care in high threat emergencies. The Task Force will be involved in building and coordinating external partnerships regarding high threat emergency casualty care.

The goals of the task force include:

  •   Leverage member expertise and leadership to create policies and procedures that reduce morbidity and mortality in high threat emergencies.
  •   Strengthen the national voice in the policy discussions surrounding response to active shooter incidents and active violent incidents.
  •   Serve as a resource for high threat emergency care and work with current ACEP representatives to other professional organizations.
  •   Leverage international networks to create national and international standards for high threat emergency medical care.
  •   Serve as an advisory body on topics of high threat emergency casualty care including but not limited to:
    • Creation of all-hazard response guidelines for high threat care
    • Translation of military emergency medicine and out-of-hospital (EMS) lessons learned to the civilian setting
    • Promote the integrated response to dynamic mass casualty incidents such as rolling disasters, acts of terrorism and active shooter incidents.
    • Support the provision of psychological support to victims of and responders to dynamic mass casualty incidents
    • Promote the integration of non-medical first responders into community preparedness plans

The task force roster has been completed and was chosen from a pool of over 80 extremely qualified individual applicants as well as stakeholder organizations and federal agencies representing a vast knowledge base and expertise applicable to this very important and timely work. The membership includes:

  •   American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM)
  •   American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)
  •   American College of Surgeons-Committee on Trauma (ACS-COT)
  •   The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR)
  •   Committee for Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (CTECC)
  •   International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
  •   International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
  •   Interagency Board (IAB)
  •   National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP)
  •   National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO)
  •   ACEP representatives from the Committees of Disaster Preparedness and Response, Emergency Medical Services and Pediatric Emergency Medicine and the Sections of Event Medicine, EMS Prehospital Care, Tactical Medicine, Disaster Medicine, International, Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Wilderness Medicine.
  •   United States Department of Health and Human Services, Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMS-C)
  •   United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

The task force work has begun, including the first face-to-face meeting at ACEP16 in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 18, 2016 from 7:00-9:00 AM, in the South Seas Ballroom A.

For further information the ACEP Staff contacts for the task force are:

Patrick Elmes, EMT/P

EMS and Disaster Preparedness Department
American College of Emergency Physicians
1125 Executive Circle
Irving, Texas 75038-2522
(972) 550-0911 Ext. 3262


Deanna Harper, EMT/I

EMS Coordinator
EMS and Disaster Preparedness Department
American College of Emergency Physicians
1125 Executive Circle
Irving, Texas 75038-2522
(972) 550-0911 Ext. 3313

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