EMS Tips

How to protect mass gathering from a vehicle attack

The use of dump trucks and garbage trucks to harden the start/finish area of the April 6, 2019 Milwaukee Marathon caught my attention. I have run many races of varying lengths and locations and not previously noticed this type of security measure.

Tip: Use Municipal Vehicles to Increase Security at Temporary Mass Gatherings

There are many threats to mass gatherings — concerts, marathons, parades and rallies — ranging from improvised explosive devices, active shooters and vehicle terror attacks. Since many mass gatherings, like a marathon start/finish area, require temporary closure of city streets and limited access to official vehicles, one of the actions event organizers and local government hosts can take is to use municipal vehicles strategically to block and control street-level access.

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Milwaukee Dept. of Sanitation truck partially blocks access to marathon start area. (Photo/Greg Friese)

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.