A County That Takes the First 2 Minutes Seriously

As a result of the dedicated efforts of its emergency services department to prepare government officials and citizens for their roles during life-threatening scenarios, Chester County, Pennsylvania has become a national leader in active shooter preparedness.


Chester County, Pennsylvania, also known as America’s mushroom capital, has not gathered any moss while preparing for mass shooting emergencies.

MACo staff saw a presentation of Chester County’s active shooter preparedness at this year’s annual National Association of Counties Conference. The program has also earned local commendations, as reported by the Daily Local News,

The [Department of Emergency Services] DES had gathered a number of participants at a test in October to ensure that emergency personnel, law enforcement investigators and average citizens could be prepared for such an event. The exercise was designed, in the end, to keep the county as safe as possible from active mass shooters.

Law enforcement in the county, said [Chester County District Attorney Thomas] Hogan, has long been ahead of the curve in planning how to “neutralize” the threat caused by an active shooter with massive casualties within the first two minutes of an event. “We are years ahead,” he told those assembled in the commissioners’ boardroom.

For more information, see ‘Active shooter’ training effort by Chester County Department of Emergency Services draws commendation from the Daily Local News.

At this year’s MACo Winter Conference, MACo will hold a special presentation on active shooter preparedness for county elected officials and others. Learn how to prepare yourself and your county for this unique type of emergency.

Active Shooter Defense: What You Need to Know

Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. While an active shooter scenario may unfold in various locations, public and government settings are particular targets. These terrifying events are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, so individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to survive the situation before law enforcement arrives. In this deep-dive session, a public safety expert will share the best way to prepare for the worst-case scenario with take-away lessons in safety for all attendees.

Speaker: Deputy First Class Wehrle of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office

Moderator: The Honorable James “Capt Jim” McMahan, Jr., Council Member, Harford County

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 7, 2016; 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm

Place: MACo Winter Conference, Hyatt Resort, Cambridge, Maryland

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: