It is an unfortunate reality, but incidents involving an Active Shooter continue to take place throughout the United States. These situations are impossible to predict, which is why it is important for organizations to undergo Active Shooter training. Doing so helps businesses, educational institutions, and other groups prepare their employees and provide them with the vital knowledge and resources to mitigate the impact of an Active Shooter event.
Organizations perform safety drills and training routinely for disasters such as earthquakes and fires, but is your workplace prepared to handle a shooter?
There are a number of factors to consider when preparing for a workplace disaster. Not only should your team be familiar with the emergency escape routes, employees must also know how to carry out established procedures while under intense pressure. To ensure your company can handle an Active Shooter situation safely and efficiently, comprehensive training and a thorough action plan are required.
If you haven’t conducted training for your business, or have yet to develop a response plan, now is the time. Evaluate your current situation and research ways that professional training can prepare your workplace to tackle the worst possible scenario.
Do You Have a Plan in Place?
According to ABC News, FBI released new data in June 2016 that showed there were 20 situations designated as “Active Shooter incidents” in both 2014 and 2015. The two-year average for this time frame is greater than any two-year average in the United States in the 21st century, and it is nearly six times as many as the 2000 and 2001 average. The fact of the matter is that the number of Active Shooter events are growing at an alarming rate, making it more important than ever for organizations to be prepared.
What policies and procedures are currently in effect at your workplace? Do your employees know where emergency exits are located and what they should do if a shooter enters the campus or office? How often does your staff undergo training or drills to make sure that everyone on the team knows their role?
Most organizations across the country do not have a detailed action plan in the case of an Active Shooter, but addressing the topic with your personnel is a vital first step in creating a solution that can mitigate its impact. Being proactive when it comes to Active Shooters can mean the key difference between diffusing a situation or it escalating further in the workplace resulting in higher damages. Start by developing a comprehensive response plan that incorporates both training and education so that your employees are ready if this unfortunate event takes place at your business.
How to Develop a Response Plan
Creating a response plan to address an Active Shooter is essential. Statistics show that 69% of these incidents are over in five minutes or less, meaning employees have a small window of time to react before law enforcement can get to the scene. Being able to get help as soon as possible and take steps toward Active Shooter mitigation will help bring a more favorable end to a very dangerous situation. Here are some of the things to include in your business’s response plan:
- Coordinate with Law Enforcement – Local law enforcement needs to be alerted immediately if there is an Active Shooter in your workplace. Not only do you need to know who to contact, it is also a good idea to work with officers and first responders on building a plan specifically for your business. For example, if your businesses or buildings require key card access, it is critical that law enforcement have access to an emergency kit containing the badges they will need. Inviting officers to tour your facility and participate in Active Shooter training allows them to get familiar with access points and emergency routes so no time is wasted when they respond to a shooter.
- Establish Communication Procedures – In addition to calling the police when there is a shooter onsite, your employees also need to know what is going on immediately. This is especially important for universities and large organizations where employees may be spread across multiple buildings. Your executive team needs to know who is in charge of alerting authorities and updating employees, students, guests, etc., so the rest of the action plan can swiftly go into effect.
- Assess Your Current Readiness – Is your building secure or does it have vulnerabilities that could be exploited? Do your employees know where evacuation points are and what actions need to be taken if there is an Active Shooter in the workplace? Are there already channels set up that empower employees to report red flags or suspicious behavior? Working with professional trainers and security experts to assess your location and the response plan you’ve developed will help you see ways you can improve your readiness so you have a safe and secure workplace environment.
Seek Out Active Shooter Training
No organization ever expects an Active Shooter situation to occur at their facility. This makes it difficult to know whether the response plan you have in place will be effective should an incident take place. However, conducting Active Shooter mitigation training for your employees either in a classroom setting or online enables them to learn and develop the skills they will need to mitigate the impact of a shooter.
The first thing to do before training is to schedule an onsite risk assessment. An onsite assessment will help your team understand the different risks for your organization and get tips for improving your current security measures and response plan. The Alamom Consulting, Inc. Security and Safety Division has a staff of experts ready to work with you on building the solution that works best for your organization.
Alamom offers half-day courses at training centers or online to ensure that employees are best prepared to deal with an Active Shooter situation. The goal of the training program is to build a culture based on a community approach to preventing situations from occurring, as well as encouraging quick responses to efficiently to end threats.
Additionally, you can research private Active Shooter mitigation instruction for your organization. These are conducted through webinars, at a training site, or privately at your location so that your entire team or department can be trained on how to respond.
Course materials can be customized to suit your needs based on your location setup, emergency policies, and other factors. By combining specialized training with an Active Shooter response plan you accomplish your goal of providing employees with resources and education that can help keep everyone safe.
What to Do Following Active Shooter Training
When you have a response plan finalized and have undergone training for your organization, your work is still not done. Continuous reinforcement with your staff is necessary so that policies and procedures can stay fresh in their minds. This includes team debriefings after your training has occurred so that employees can share what they learned and work together to develop best practices.
While it can be difficult to shut down your business for a day of training, scheduling a time where you can work through a simulation onsite allows your employees to take what they learned and put it into action. This is also a good opportunity to assess which strategies work and which ones need to be fine-tuned before moving forward.
Keep in mind that it is best to inform employees, students, and guests that an exercise will be taking place so that they do not become alarmed. You can learn more about Active Shooter training with Alamom by contacting a representative today at (858) 225-6463.
Active Shooter Response Training