No matter where you work, enjoy your time off, or even in public places, there is always a chance that you could face an Active Shooter situation during your career or lifetime. It is important for employers to implement Active Shooter training regularly in order to make sure employees are properly prepared. While chaos and destruction are commonplace when there is an Active Shooter situation, the terror and helplessness your employees feel can be greatly reduced through proper training.
Much like fire drills or similar evacuation policies, there are procedures that can be put into place to handle Active Shooters. However, having these preparations in place does not help if not all employees are aware of these procedures.
What Should Employers Do?
As an employer, there are three things that you should implement immediately:
- Zero Tolerance Workplace Violence Policy, as well as rules that outline what items are considered weapons, what behaviors are considered threatening, and the consequences for violating the policy.
- An Emergency Action Plan, or EAP, that includes how to report emergencies, your evacuation policy, emergency escape routes, and a communication policy.
- Employee Training to teach employees how to handle different situations defensively and offensively to get themselves and others out safely in the case of an Active Shooter or any other emergency.
It is important that workplaces make sure that all new employees receive training in emergency procedures. Training seminars and training drills should be performed at a minimum, every six months in the workplace. An hour or two out of the workday twice a year is a small price to pay for the possibility of having all your employees emerge unharmed from an Active Shooter situation.
What Should Employees Know?
There are three ways for employees to handle an active shooter incident:
- The first and most recommended behavior is to Run if it is at all possible and safe to do so. Get out and call the authorities.
- If you can’t Run, the next option is to Hide. Stay out of the Active Shooter’s view, silence electronics, and turn off lights, and barricade doors if possible, and keep an eye out for possible items to use as weapons.
- The third, and most difficult, option is to fight. Fighting should be reserved for when you have no options left. It does not necessarily mean go hand-to-hand with the shooter, but can mean throwing items at the shooter, yelling, and working with others to incapacitate the Active Shooter.
Besides knowing these three best practices and what each entails, employees should also know what to do when law enforcement arrives. It is important to remember that officers arriving on the scene aren’t aware of who is an employee, who is a shooter, or who is dangerous. Always remain calm, communicate clearly, and comply with officers and first repsonders at all times.
Active Shooter training and drills are very important for keeping the workplace safe for everyone. As an employer, it is your responsibility to arrange training and follow-up drills for your employees. Contact Alamom today to schedule your training seminar and get started on making sure your employees know how to handle emergencies appropriately.