Critical Incident
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
Critical Incident First Responder
Responsibilities & Tactics
Never Forget Your
Safety Comes First
Critical Incident First Responder
Responsibilities & Tactics
Definitions
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
 Crisis Situation:

Any incident in which a person present on
the scene has threatened to cause
immediate harm to himself or others. This
usually involves barricading or refusal to
leave a location and / or hostage taking.
 Hostage Situation:

A crisis situation in which a person is held
against their will to force fulfillment of
demands.
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
Hostage Situation:
 A crisis situation in which a
person is held against their will to
force fulfillment of demands.
 Usually Involves:

Threat to harm a person if
demands are not met.
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
Hostage Situation continued:
 Usually Involves:
 Primary Goal
 Having demands met
 Gaining some type of advantage
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
Defensive Threat:
 Usually employed in nonhostage situations
 Threats are primarily to prevent
police action
 “If you come in here I’ll hurt
Joe!
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
First Responders Duties:
 Contain the threat.
 Isolate the threat.
 Engage the person in
conversation
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
 Containment and Isolation accomplish:
 Prevents the spread of the threat.
 Prevents the escape of the subject
 Prevents unauthorized persons to enter
the crisis site.
 Applies pressure on the subject by
isolating him from the outside world.
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
 Containing the subject to one specific
location accomplishes:
Seals off the location or house from
outside influence
 Disables or removes any means of
escape for the person

First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
Quick Assessment:
 What type of situation exists?
 Have hostages been taken?
 What type of weapons are
involved?
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
Request Additional resources:
 Supervisor
 Back up officers.
 Ambulance
 Fire apparatus.
 SWAT
 CNT
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
 Evacuation considerations:
 Persons in close proximity of the crisis
incident
 Close off streets or neighborhoods if
necessary
 Vehicular & pedestrian traffic should be
controlled .
 Establish an outer perimeter a safe
distance from the site.
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
Working through the crisis:
 Most dangerous time:
 First few minutes of crisis.
 Last few minutes during
surrender.
 Subject is usually very unstable
and irrational
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics

Most dangerous time
continued:
 Innocent police activity may be
viewed as threatening.
 Negotiating may NOT be an
option due to person’s
condition
 Use caution in attempting to
contact the person.
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
Recommended Techniques:
 Circumstances may require the
first responder to establish
contact with the subject
 He may call you
 Hostage may call you
 3rd party contact (prior)
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
 Using Non-threatening non-
judgmental language will:
Promote Rational Thinking
 Allow for arrival of additional
resources
 Can aid in intelligence
gathering

First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
Negotiations Protocol
 Introduce yourself by name
 Exclude
rank
 Identify the agency you work for
 Advise subject you are there to help
 Show concern for the subject
 Ask
if he/she is O.K.
 Reassure him no one will come in / rush
him
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
Negotiations Protocol
 If hostages have been taken:
 Don’t
call them hostages
 Talk of them as people
 Ask about their condition
 Ask their names

Calling them by name will make the
subject think of them as people not
objects
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
Negotiations Protocol
 Ask the subject what happened?
 Let the subject talk
 When
he / she talks, they vent anger
and frustration
 You gain intelligence
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
 Be a good listener and reassure the
subject
 Speak
in a calm voice at all times
 Do not get into a shouting match
 Do not debate with the subject
 Avoid setting deadlines
 Talk through any he sets

Contact him prior to deadline or time of
action & talk past it
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
 Statements that are vague or indicate
finality:
 Could
mean he / she is thinking
about suicide
 It is O.K. to ask him / her if he / she is
thinking about suicide
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
Opening Exchange:
 “Hello my name is….. And I work for the
Racine Police Department. I’m here to
help you.”
 “What is your name or what name can I
call you?”
 ”Are you O.K.”
 Are the people in there with you, O.K.”
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
Allow the subject to talk:
 “Can you tell me what happened?”
 A lot
of incidents are emotionally driven
 Try to identify which emotion he subject
is feeling
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
Anger
 Frustration
 Fear
 Sadness
 Depression

First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
After the subject tells his story:
 Encourage further conversation by
labeling the emotion:
 “Jim,
it sounds like you are very angry
about ….
 The subject will either confirm or correct
you
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
Tips for Safe First Responder Interaction:
 Your safety comes first
 Do not negotiate face to face with
potentially armed subjects
 Never exchange yourself for anyone
else
 Do not allow non-police personnel to
negotiate
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
 Plan Surrenders carefully
 This
may mean the subject is planning
an action that will force a suicide by Cop
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
As a first responder you can:
 Gather
intelligence for SWAT &
CNT
# of subjects
 Type of weapons
 # of hostages

First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
As a first responder you can:
 Gather
intelligence continued:
Location of hostages
 Evaluate subjects state of mind

First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
As a first responder you can:
 Stall for time:
 Time saves lives (Usually)
 Allows SWAT / CNT to get into place
 Has calming effect on everyone
 Don’t agree to anything (need boss' approval)
 Create Diversions
 Keep subject talking
 Keep subject in problem solving mode
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
You can provide Real Time
Intelligence to SWAT /CNT
 Where is the subject NOW?
 Where are the hostages NOW?
 His / Her state of mind NOW?
Critical Incident First Responder
Responsibilities & Tactics
Don’t Forget
our goal is to
SAVE LIVES
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
This information was provided by
First Responder Responsibilities & Tactics
The Critical Incident First
Responder Talk Tactics Guide
is available from IAHN. Go to
The negotiator store at
www.hostagenegotiation.com
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Critical Incident