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Hostile threats and attacks are ongoing and can occur in any location. Soft targets such as community events, performances, elections, sporting events, parades, fairs, etc. are particularly vulnerable. These vulnerabilities highlight an urgent need for effective strategies to identify and prevent acts of violence.

Situational Awareness for Safety training  provides knowledge, tools, and techniques to help you maintain situational awareness and stay safe. By the end of the course, participants will know:

● How to systematically observe their environment;

● How to identify people and things that may not look right; and

● How to make more informed decisions and take actions to stay safe

Audience: Fire, EMS, private security, election workers, hospital security, community event staff, sporting event staff, and anyone seeking abilities to identify behavioral indicators of possible threat. This training is not intended for law enforcement. The training is based on skills law enforcement learn in their academies and other required trainings.

The basis for this course is the research and techniques developed as part of the Just Doesn’t Look Right Project (JDLR). The JDLR Project was a United States Department of Defense (DoD) funded research program focused on identifying behavioral indicators of threat.

This training is free. Registration is required. Three sessions will be held throughout western Mass.

  • Tuesday, June 25, 12:30pm to 2:30pm, Agawam
  • Wednesday, June 26 12:30 to 4:30, Hadley (this session provides expanded education and exercise opportunities)
  • Wednesday, June 26, 6:00 to 8:00pm, Greenfield

Registration is required. Please complete the following form to register.

Hadley, MA

8:00am to 2:00pm

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council and Western Mass Fire Chiefs Association are proud to present Extreme Ownership Leadership Training by ©Echelon Front, LLC. An intensive leadership training program designed to equip you with the tools and mindset to lead effectively in any situation.

Why Extreme Ownership?

All your problems are leadership problems, and Extreme Ownership (©Echelon Front, LLC) is the solution. Learn how to take ownership of your actions, decisions, and outcomes to lead and win in both business and life.

Key Topics Include:

Laws of Combat: Implement strategies for optimal team performance, including cover and move, simple, prioritize and execute, and decentralized command.

Extreme Ownership: Dive deep into the concept of leadership as the single most important factor in success. Understand that there are no bad teams, only bad leaders.

Mindset: Develop a default aggressive mindset and learn techniques for controlling your ego to make better decisions.

Sustaining Victory: Master leading up and down the chain of command, empower your subordinates, make decisive choices in uncertain situations, and embrace discipline for freedom.

Practical Application: Apply your newfound knowledge and beliefs about leadership to real-world scenarios.

Date and Time:

Friday, May 10, 2024. 8:00am to 2:00pm


Hadley Senior Center
46 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035


This training is open to fire officers in the four counties of western Massachusetts. We kindly request that each sign-up be done in pairs. We encourage the pairing of two fire officers from any rank in each department. This approach fosters collaboration and diverse perspectives, enhancing the learning experience for all participants.

Registration is required. Update Tuesday, May 7, 2024. The training and waitlist are full. Thank you for your interest. 

UMass Amherst

8:30am to 4:30pm

Monday, May 13, 2024
The Minds, Lives and Motivations of Mass Attackers

A Conference with renowned expert Dr. Peter Langman

Dr. Peter Langman, PhDFollowing a school shooting or ideological attack, we often wonder if there were warning signs that we missed. We think we know what a typical shooter looks like, but do we really? Is there even such a thing as a “typical” shooter?

Who are these people, and what are the psychological dynamics driving their behavior? What is going on behind the scenes prior to an attack? What factors mitigate risks, and when do they deserve a closer look? What are the psychological barriers to reporting or investigating suspicious behaviors?

“The truth is that there is no profile. School shooters are not all bullied, they are not all loners, and they are not all obsessed with violent video games or firearms. Sometimes they commit random attacks against strangers, sometimes they carry out narrowly focused attacks against specific people, and sometimes there are both random and targeted victims.”  –Dr. Peter Langman, PhD.

Though mass shooters are not all cut from the same cloth, over decades of research Dr. Langman has uncovered persistent patterns in the types of people who commit these attacks. The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council is bringing Dr. Langman, a leading expert on this topic and author of the books Why Kids Kill (2009), School Shooters (2015), and Warning Signs (2021), to share his findings about perpetrators of mass violence: who they are, what drives them, and what warning signs to look for.

Dr. Langman will use real case studies to illustrate pathways to violence, protective factors, and reasons that suspicious behaviors are often overlooked. He will share tips on “insider references” to look out for (for example, “1488” scribbled on a student’s notebook is a bright red flag) and how to assess threats. The full day conference will focus on school shooters in the morning and broaden to other types of perpetrators in the afternoon. There will also be ample opportunity for Q&A.

The conference is free of charge and open to the public, and is particularly geared to those working in law enforcement, K-12 schools, higher education, hospitals, public health, mental health, first responders, and other public-facing disciplines.

Registration is required. Click here to register. Participants are encouraged to order lunch through the registration form or bring their own lunch to minimize interruptions to the content.

Please be advised that this conference will address sensitive topics, including some graphic language and details.

Easthampton Fire Department

8:30am to 5:30pm

WRHSAC is offering a session of Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support Training (PHTLS) at Easthampton Fire Department on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 23 and 24, 2024.

PHTLS is the premier pre-hospital trauma education developed in cooperation with the American College of Surgeons to promote critical thinking in addressing multi-system trauma and provide the latest evidence-based treatment practices. The program will strengthen the EMS providers’ assessment skills and techniques for managing patients in distress. The program is based on a pre-hospital trauma care philosophy, stressing the treatment of the multi-system trauma patient as a unique entity with specific needs and has shown to improve the quality of trauma care in all patients and also decrease mortality.

This is a two-day, sixteen hour training for first responders who are EMT-B through EMT-P trained.

The training is free. OEMS credits will be provided.

Registration is required.

Thank you for your interest in the training. As of Tuesday, March 26, 2024 the training is full and the waitlist is at capacity. 


Active Attack Integrated Response Training

WRHSAC’s series of Active Attack Integrated Response Trainings continues with a session on Wednesday and Thursday, April 17 and 18, 2024, in Holyoke.

This 16-hour, performance-level, direct-delivery course aims to enhance collaboration among law enforcement, fire, dispatch, and emergency medical services (EMS) during active attack/shooter events. It introduces a model framework for Rescue Task Force (RTF) response.

Focused on elevating the safety and survivability of active attack/shooter event victims, the training also strives to enhance the efficiency, coordination, and resource integration among law enforcement, fire, dispatch, and EMS responders. Aligned with NFPA 3000, the Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) program, this training prioritizes adherence to established guidelines.

The training is free. Application is required. Space is limited so apply soon!
The training is appropriate for law enforcement, fire and EMS.


Pittsfield and Holyoke

8:00am to 5:00pm

WRHSAC is offering four sessions of EMS Pediatric Acute Care training. Boston Medical Center’s Community Outreach Mobile Education Team’s (COMET) will facilitate the training. The training aims to bridge gaps within pediatric acute care by providing in-situ simulated training.

Each session is four hours long. Two sessions will be held on each of the following days. The first two sessions are on Thursday, February 1, 2024 in Holyoke. The final two sessions are on Friday, February 2, in Pittsfield. Session start times are 8:00am and 1:00pm. The trainings are open and appropriate for EMS. You need to be a licensed EMS to be an active participant. 

The training will prepare EMS for pediatric emergencies in all types of situations including trauma sustained during active shooter/hostile incidents and other emergencies. The training focuses not only on medical skills but also critical thinking and assessment required in complex response. Multiple simulations of a variety of incidents will be conducted in each day.

The training offers two levels of participation, first as an active player in a scenario and secondly as observer of scenarios and their subsequent hot washes. As an active participant you will role play in at least one of the day’s simulations. Each simulation will include 4 to 6 role players. When you aren’t a role player in a simulation, you will be an observer and can participate in the hot washes and ask questions. Remote observation via zoom is also offered for the Pittsfield sessions. As a remote observer you will have a bird’s eye view of the scenarios and hot washes. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions during the hot wash.

The training is free. Registration is required.

Registration for this training is now closed.

West Springfield

8:00am to 5:00pm

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council in partnership with the Western Mass Fire Chiefs Association (WMFCA) and the Western Mass Chiefs of Police Association (WMCOPA) are hosting a series of Active Attack Integrated Response (AAIR) Trainings for the region.

The series begins with the AAIR Train-the-Trainer Course in November. This 40-hour performance level direct delivery course is designed to improve integration between law enforcement, fire, dispatch, and emergency medical services (EMS) in active attack/shooter events.

This Train-the-Trainer session is specifically for individuals who are willing and able to become AAIR instructors to teach fellow first responders throughout the region. The session will train law enforcement, fire, EMS, and dispatchers. Interested individuals from these four disciplines are invited to apply. (see below)

The course provides law enforcement officers with key medical skills based on Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) guidelines, which can be used at the Point of Injury (POI) to increase survivability of victims.

The course also provides a model framework for law enforcement, fire, and EMS to integrate responses during an active attack/shooter incident through the Rescue Task Force (RTF) concept.

This training has been designed to improve the safety and survivability of victims of active attack/shooter events and increase the effectiveness, coordination, and resource integration between law enforcement, fire, telecommunications, and EMS when responding to these events.

The Train-the-Trainer course will be held Monday, November 13 through Friday, November 17, 2023 in West Springfield. The training is open to first responders in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden Counties.

There are a limited number of student seats available for this train-the-trainer session. Applications will be accepted for review from the time of this announcement through noon, Wednesday, November 1, 2023. Applications will be reviewed by members of the WMFCA and WMPOCA. Final acceptance into the course will require approval from your employer. Seats for this course are delineated by discipline. Follow the appropriate link below to submit your application.

Registration for this training is closed. Thank you for your interest.

Further information regarding the remaining sessions of this training series will be announced in the coming months. This will be the only train-the-trainer session of this series. Any questions can be directed to Raine Brown, Homeland Security Program Manager.



8:00am to 4:30pm

WRHSAC is offering Vehicle Lift, Stabilization and Extrication Training in Springfield on Wednesday and Thursday, October 25 and 26, 2023. 

The training is designed to challenge students with technically involved stabilization scenarios in order to build upon their skill set using strut & jack systems. Students will be introduced to the latest, most advanced equipment such as Res-q-jacks, Paratech Gold Struts, Rescue 42 and more as they deal with evolutions involving both light & heavy vehicles in compromising positions. Students will learn methods of vehicle stabilization and capturing to facilitate occupant extrication, without putting first responders at risk.

Scene Safety, Stabilization, Door /Roof Removals, Displacements, & Lifting / Capturing are just some of the components associated with a successful rescue operation when dealing with a confirmed vehicle pin. Remove any one of these, and the results could be disastrous for the victim and rescuers.

The training focus will be hands on learning, leading the students through rotations to simulate real life scenarios involving various motor vehicle collision scenarios.  Classroom style orientation will introduce concepts and equipment prior to hands on learning component of the training.

This is a two-day training. Students must be able to attend both days of the training.

The training is free. Registration is required. 

The training is open to first responders in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden Counties.

Please complete the form below to register.

The class is full. Please complete the form below to be added to the waitlist. 

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Berkshire and Franklin Counties

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) in partnership with Western Mass EMS (WMEMS) are hosting multiple training sessions that fulfill the practical training portion of Chapter 23 of the Acts of 2022 – commonly known as Nero’s Law. Sessions will be held in each of the four counties of western Massachusetts.

Two new training days are scheduled for Berkshire and Franklin County. 

  • Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at Berkshire Community College. Sessions at 1pm, 3pm and 5pm.  
  • Saturday, January 13, 2024 at JaDuke Theater in Turners Falls. Session at 9am, 11am and 1pm.

Update Friday, Jan 12 – Registration is closed for all sessions.

These will be the final sessions of the training prior to the February 10, 2024 deadline. We are working on coordinating training in Hampden County, however it likely won’t be until March 2024.

To learn more about the history of Nero’s Law and what to expect at the training, view this video WRHSAC created at a training session in Berkshire County in June 2023.

Per Nero’s Law, ambulance services in Massachusetts are required to assess, treat and transport police K9s injured in the line of duty. All certified EMTs (at all levels) must complete a training course of a minimum of 3 hours (1.5 hours didactic, 1.5 hours practical).

All students must complete the didactic training prior to attending a practical session. The didactic training is available online, on demand. To access the didactic training utilize the following link and passcode:

  • LMS Portal: and take the following steps:
    • Click register and enter your email address and create password
    • Select “Mass EMS Region 1” and
    • Enter code: Reg1WMA-Nero

Bring a copy (paper or electronic) of a certificate of completion of the didactic training to the practical session.

All students will show the following skills for successful completion of the practical training:

  • Demonstrate appropriate assessment, restraint (muzzling) and low-stress handling of injured animals, including the selection and use of commercial and improvised muzzles.
    • Discuss appropriate indications, contraindications, and technique for muzzle application
  • Identify relevant anatomic structures in police K9s and differences from human anatomy
  • Perform physical exam to non-police dog canine, including primary survey/ M3ARCH2 algorithm and to identify trauma (DCAP-BTLS).
  • Demonstrate appropriate pulse checks and vital signs measurement in non-police dog canine.
  • Assess for life threatening bleeding and provide appropriate hemorrhage control interventions, including the use of hemostatic dressings and non-windless style tourniquet devices.
  • Assess for airway obstructions and perform basic life support maneuvers for clearance and to maintain patency.
  • Identify and appropriately manage chest trauma, including the use of occlusive dressings, if razor to shave fur is carried on the ambulance.
  • Identify and appropriately manage shock.
  • Demonstrate assessment and management of cardiac arrest in canines, in accordance with current CPR guidelines, including chest compressions, ventilations using bag valve mask and post resuscitation care.

1.5 OEMS credits will be awarded upon completion.


2:00pm to 3:00pm

Frontline personnel regularly encounter people who present as hostile or readily escalate to hostile with minimal stimulus.

This free training series will provide:

  • De-escalation techniques
  • Strategies to prevent disruption
  • Strategies to manage challenging group dynamics
  • Techniques to support frontline personnel dealing with hostility and aggression

The series consists of three one-hour virtual workshops held on consecutive Wednesdays in February 2023. The training is free. Registration is required.


Working with Challenging One-on-One Frontline Interactions

Wednesday, February 8, 2023, 2:00 – 3:00 pm


Working in Challenging Group/Community Settings

Wednesday, February 15, 2023, 2:00 – 3:00 pm


Supporting Others Dealing with Challenging Dynamics

Wednesday, February 22, 2023, 2:00 – 3:00 pm


These sessions are applicable to first responders, municipal officials, hospital personnel, front-line and essential workers, and supervisors. Please share this training with your colleagues, supervisors, staff and others who may be interested.