TSA Airport Active Shooter Training Video

TSA Airport Active Shooter Training Video

Chris Grollnek Active Shooter Prevention Expert on Why Video is not relevant based on LAX Shooting
Chris Grollnek Active Shooter Prevention Expert on Why Video is not relevant based on LAX Shooting

TSA Airport Active Shooter Training Video – This video is well put together and the filming excellent.  Unfortunately the writers and directors left out many incidents details about what happens to the people around the shooter and the responders.  In my professional and expert based opinion, they relied on the Los Angeles International Airport incident.

On November 1, 2013, Paul Anthony Ciancia walked up to a checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport and proceeded to open fire with a semi-automatic rifle, killing one TSA officer and wounding two others.

Two years later, the TSA wants travelers to know they have a plan.  In an effort to show commuters they have nothing to fear, the TSA has filmed a new video that will be used nationwide to train TSA employees how to “Run, Hide, and Fight” during an active shooter situation.

TSA Airport Active Shooter Training Video

Chris Grollnek

Active Shooter Prevention Expert and School Shooting Mitigation Specialist

After Action Report Improvement Plan and Airport Police Update: One Year Later

The Los Angeles World Airports Emergency Management Division (LAWA EMD) has worked with the following internal and external agencies to address the observations and recommendations in the after action report for the November 1, 2013 Active Shooter Incident at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

  • LAWA Divisions
  • City of Los Angeles
    • Emergency Management Department
    • Fire Department
    • Police Department
  • County of Los Angeles

Since the issuance of the report on March 18, 2014, LAWA collaborated to implement these recommendations. Below is a summary of the recommendations implemented:

Public Mass Notification

  • Wireless Electronic Alerts
    • An emergency message notification is for public safety instructional and informational purposes. The system will send a text-like message accompanied by an audible alert to cell phones in the proscribed area. The message must be concise (limited to 90 characters), instructive and must be requested through the L.A. City Emergency Management Department (EMD) or Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
    • Activation criteria
      • Department Operations Center (DOC) activation Level 2 or 3 (at the direction of Incident Command) or if an immediate public safety hazard exists.
    • Timing to send notification
      • Mass notification should be made within the first 15 minutes of an event.
    • Message content
      • Messages are pre-scripted and may require the insertion of variables to specify the location of the incident.
    • Distribution method
      • Text message via cell phone towers in a designated geographical region
  • Nixle 360
    • Mass notification system that provides access to the local community through various communication channels, including voice.
    • Primary users are public safety agencies
    • Web-based application

Passenger Assistance and Mass Care

  • Airport Response Teams (ART)
    • Team composition
      • LAWA employees (civilians and off-duty staff) who would be deployed whenever an incident or emergency occurs requiring supplemental assistance to passengers and operations.
      • Badged LAWA employees and ART card for identification
    • Activation criteria
      • Request may be made by an Incident Commander or Duty Manager DOC activation of Level 2 or 3.
      • The emergency situation has the potential to severely affect passengers.
    • Notification to activate
      • Team members are notified via Everbridge mass notification system
    • Team Responsibilities
      • Identify those with disabilities and functional needs and obtaining/providing assistance.
      • Assess and identify logistical and operational needs.
      • Assist with crowd control by putting up barricades or yellow tape.
      • Assist with repopulation of terminals after evacuation.
      • Share information and updates with passengers through announcements.
      • Answer questions and provide translations (for ART members who speak a second language).
      • Distribute water, snacks, blankets, formula, diapers, etc.
      • Assist in the Department Operations Center with clerical and other duties
      • Answer customer calls and inquiries received through LAWA’s Infoline (LAWA’s public general information phone number and email system accessed through LAWA’s website).
    • Training
      • Classroom, drills, tours, and online training regarding FEMA incident management programs and protocols.
    • Work Shifts
      • 12 hours per shift during an incident
    • Timekeeping
      • Subject to LAWA policies for timekeeping and each employee’s respective union agreement
      • Permission to participate in ART must be granted by supervisor
      • Employee must notify supervisor of ART activation/deactivation
  • Point of Distribution (POD) Centers
    • A storage location of supplies for passengers and the affected public in case of an emergency or event.
    • The supplies included in each POD are meant to sustain basic comfort levels for passengers and the public during the early operational periods of an event.
      • Note: In anticipation of extended operational periods, the City EMD/EOC should be notified and a request for assistance, which may include the American Red Cross (e.g., to support the public) and Salvation Army (e.g., to support responders), may be made to supply additional resources.
    • Activation criteria
      • Department Operations Center (DOC) activation Level 2 or 3 with notification to Incident Command, OR
      • Instruction from the Deputy Executive Director of Operations and Emergency Management to activate PODs access, OR
      • Instruction from the Director of Emergency Management to activate PODs access

Department Operations Center

  • Develop Concept of Operations
    • The Airport Response Coordination Center (ARCC) has evolved in its mission to monitor and manage airport activity. The demands for situational awareness, common operating picture, response to emergency situations, and support of the Unified Command Post (UCP) have required a review of the concept of operations for the ARCC.
    • Areas of Development
      • Situational Awareness and Common Operating Picture Development
      • Protocols for activating the Department Operations Center
      • Staffing and services provided by the Department Operations Center
      • Reporting by the Department Operations Center

Development of Airport Operating Procedures & Standard Operating Procedures

  • SOPs In progress
    • Points of Distribution Plan
    • Emergency Communications Plan

Incident Command

  • Exercise and Drill Participation
  • Trunk Top Training (T3)
    • In a non-emergency forum that fosters collaboration among multiple agencies, emergency responders drill on LAWA operating procedures for emergencies and the incident command system.
    • Training occurs at the Incident Command Post (ICP) and Department Operations Center (DOC). Approximately 34-training sessions have been held since November 1, 2013.
    • Training Participants
      • LAWA Divisions
        • Airport Operations
        • Airport Police
        • Maintenance
        • Engineering
        • Environmental
        • Emergency Management
        • Public Relations
      • City of Los Angeles Departments
        • Los Angeles Fire Department
        • Los Angeles Police Department
        • Emergency Management Division
      • LAWA Stakeholders
        • Federal Aviation Administration
        • Customs & Border Protection
        • Transportation Security Administration
        • Federal Bureau of Investigation
        • Federal Air Marshals
    • Training scenarios focus on the 19 hazards required of LAWA for its Airport Certification. Additional topics may be added as related to current issues or industry concerns (e.g. Ebola)
  • Implemented LAFD Specialty Training for LAWA Incident Response Team
    • The first class of participants is more than 50% complete with this training. The program focuses on the incident command system as it is applied at LAWA, which includes the principle of bringing responders together to develop plans to mitigate an incident and recover normal airport activity.
    • This course consists of 12 classes plus exercises to provide a better understanding of DOC activation, resource management, plan development, and finance tracking. The concepts taught in this program may also be used at the Incident Command Post.
  • LAWA Community Training
    • Targeted to airport employees, information is provided on how employees can handle various situations that may threaten life, safety, and property. A recurring theme is to assist people with disabilities and functional needs. A total of 56 training sessions have been held since November 1, 2013.
    • Familiarize airport employees with basic information and resources to help them during an incident:
      • Online training opportunities (ICS 100, 200, etc.)
      • Tour of ARCC/DOC facilities
      • American Red Cross “prepare u”
      • Community Emergency Response Team training by LAFD
      • LAWA EMD “Hot Topic” or refresher course
    • Terminal Evacuation
      • Terminal floor warden program
      • Best practices for terminal evacuation
      • Controlled vs Uncontrolled
      • Airport Police is lead agency during evacuation
      • Assembly areas
    • Active Shooter
      • Airport employee response to active shooter
      • Evacuate, Hide, Take Action and Call for Help
    • Earthquake
      • Personal safety tips: Duck, Cover, and Hold
      • Tips for driving during an earthquake
      • Tips for what to do after an earthquake
      • Best advice: Prepare for a disaster
        • Identify hazards
        • Develop a supply kit
        • Develop a disaster plan
  • ICS Position Specific Training
    • This is training for LAWA employees who may serve in the role of a unit leader, section chief or commander
    • Training has been completed by staff at the level of Airport Superintendent of Operations III and higher
    • Training has been provided by various city, county and state offerings
    • Training is based on FEMA guidelines for the positions

Incident Response

  • Post-Earthquake Assessment Teams
    • Team Composition – From LAWA ADG and Engineering Divisions, a group of skilled and specially trained engineers and inspectors that possess the ability to evaluate structures for habitability and tag impacted structures accordingly.
    • Team responsibilities
      • Perform initial and conditional assessment of LAWA facilities that may have been damaged during an earthquake or other activity that may cause structural damage.
    • Activation Criteria
      • PEAT may be deployed at the request of the Unified Command Staff and/or DOC Director
    • Notification to activate
      • ARCC Notification with polling capabilities to quickly surmise the number of team members that may respond.

Airport Police Division

  • The After Action Report Improvement Plan concluded Airport Police officers responded to Terminal 3, located the shooter, engaged him in gunfire, and took him into custody within four minutes and eight seconds of becoming aware of the shooting.
    • In September, six Airport Police Division (APD) officers were awarded the Governor’s Medal of Valor Award for their heroic response. These officers also have been recognized for valor by the California Police Officers Association, the Los Angeles City Council, and the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners.


We do not discuss specific deployment of officers at our airports. However, we are constantly evaluating how we deploy officers and will modify or adjust our enforcement strategies as needed.

Airport Police Division attrition averages 20 people a year. By November 17, 2014, Airport Police will have hired/made job offers to more than 30-people. The number of police officers committed to keeping employees and passengers safe and secure at all of our airports, continues to grow.

“I was adamant then and am today that we had a good deployment plan on November 1, and that is why the shooter was stopped as quickly as he was.” — Patrick Gannon, LAWA Deputy Executive Director of Homeland Security and Law Enforcement and Airport Police Chief)


  • Mr. Jose Plaza, an Air Serv employee, dialed directly to Airport Police Dispatch from his cellular telephone and reported the shooting in Terminal 3. This immediate notification to APD Dispatch saved time and helped ensure that officers responded to the shooting as quickly as possible.
    • Since November 1, 2013, all employees have been asked to enter the Airport Police emergency telephone number into their phones so that APD Dispatch can be quickly notified in an emergency. Calling 911 is also encouraged

    Duress Alarms/Emergency Telephones

    • Two duress alarms and an emergency telephone at the TSA screening station in Terminal 3 were not working properly on November 1, 2013. Repairs to these items were corrected immediately and since November 1, all duress alarms and emergency telephones are audited daily to ensure they are working.

    Command and Control

    • Command and Control issues between fire and law-enforcement personnel on November 1st led to confusion and delayed a Unified Command post from being established.
      • The location of a field command post will be incident driven.
      • Funding is approved for an Emergency Command Post vehicle. Design has begun.
      • The LA City Fire Department has held multiple ongoing training exercises over the past year, focusing on steps to establish Unified Command Posts, and inclusion of critical stakeholders in any future incident.

    Tactical EMS

    • In active shooter incidents, the role of law enforcement is to quickly stop the shooter and then provide medical aid as quickly as possible. Fire/EMS personnel, usually unarmed, will not enter the area where a shooting is happening, until police say it is safe. But, we recognize the need to respond quickly and to treat injured people as quickly as possible.
      • A technique, known as Tactical EMS, has now been adopted by the Los Angeles Fire Department and supported by APD and LAPD. In an active shooter incident, officers will provide force protection for paramedics and other fire personnel as quickly as possible so they can enter secured areas to treat the injured.
      • LAFD personnel are already going through Tactical EMS training as this will be the centerpiece of a multi-agency exercise in November 2014.

    Interoperable Communications

    • Airport Police, along with LAPD and LAFD, are actively involved in supporting the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA RICS) project, which seeks to provide effective interoperability among public safety agencies in Los Angeles County. Effective communication for first responders was an issue on November 1.
      • This past year, APD, LAPD and LAFD have worked to refine communications capabilities in order to communicate effectively. These communication issues are consistently addressed during our ongoing training exercises at LAX.

    Whole Community Training

    • Since November 1, our training with airport-wide employees and stakeholders has been to preach vigilance and good communication. If they see suspicious behavior, we want employees and stakeholders to report it to Airport Police. The safety and security of our airports is the responsibility of everyone. It is important that everyone feels empowered to bring suspicious activity to the attention of Airport Police.

    Law Enforcement Partnerships

    • There is a strong working relationship among all of the public safety agencies at LAX. Airport Police and LAPD work well together in tactical incidents at LAX. TSA/Federal Air Marshals, Customs and Border Protection, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Department of Homeland Security also have personnel assigned to LAX.
      • Since November 1, we have conducted joint training exercises to ensure each agency understands how we will approach an active shooter incident.
      • Monthly executive management meetings with all of the public safety agencies at LAX have continued.

    “What happened a year ago could happen, and has happened, anywhere in the United States. While I can’t guarantee that a shooting will never occur again at LAX, we will do everything we can to improve our preparedness for an emergency, our response, and our recovery efforts. Airport Police is actively involved in the Joint Regional Intelligence Center and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. This multi-agency regional approach to interceding in terrorist acts gives us our best option at identifying an attack before it occurs.” — Patrick Gannon, LAWA Deputy Executive Director of Homeland Security and Law Enforcement and Airport Police Chief)

By Chris Grollnek

Active Shooter Prevention Trainer and Public Speaker PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY: Chris Grollnek is a dynamic Public Speaker and forward-thinking Director of the Active Shooter Prevention Project, LLC. (www.aspppro.com) An Interview and Investigation specialist with a record of success at the Executive and National level for Leadership and Management efficiencies regarding Policy and the Curriculum Development for Terrorism related Prevention. Chris recently wrote and appeared in the Department of Justice Active Shooter prevention Training Video (2022-2023). Complete understanding of government and corporate contracting and investigative programs to enhance corporate standards of policy implementation. An architect of efficiencies with a results-oriented pattern of success in investigative techniques, security, safety, sales leadership, and interviewing while leading teams and establishing best practices. A well-versed public speaker, freelance television contributor, and radio news commentator. Experience in testifying before serval governmental bodies, including The United States Congressional bodies of the House and Senate committees, regarding Terrorism Prevention, Response, and Training Initiatives. #activeshooterexpert #NEVERHERE