In this day and age, active-shooter events are commonplace as we see more and more reports of yet another mass shooting in America. They can happen anywhere, at any time. The University of Alabama found that in America, it is more likely to have a mass shooter incident in the workplace or at a school over any other location. Therefore, it is critical that the leaders of organizations have a response plan, outlined with emergency protocols, training and regulations to maintain a level of preparedness to minimize the impact of such events.
26% OF MASS SHOOTINGS IN AMERICA OCCURED AT A WORKPLACE
1 IN 8 ACTIVE SHOOTINGS OCCURED AT A SCHOOL
62% OF THE WORLD’S MASS SHOOTINGS HAVE OCCURED IN AMERICA
42 STATES HAVE HAD MASS SHOOTINGS
Active shooter incidents are highly traumatic events that can happen with little or no notice and require a quick and coordinated response from the first responder community as well as facility employees and patrons. As these events increase in frequency, we must ask ourselves as leaders if we are doing enough to prepare for them.
It is important that organizations across all industries, from government facilities to the private sector, include active shooter threats as a part of their emergency management approach. The place, the people, and the reasons for these scenarios are not clear, but the ability to be proactive is straight forward.
Active shooter threats should be considered in risk assessments and trained and prepared for to ensure a smooth integration of multiple response agencies. Schools, workplaces, shopping-malls, movie theatres have been the target of recent incidents, highlighting the need for all facilities to consider how to prepare for, mitigate, prevent and respond to active shooter threats.
“Schools, workplaces, shopping-malls, movie theatres have been the target of recent incidents, highlighting the need for all facilities to consider how to prepare for, mitigate, prevent and respond to active shooter threats. “
These types of incidences demonstrate the importance of a quick response based on set procedures, as numbers of fatalities and injuries are contingent upon the speed in which first responders react. A constant effort in training, planning and exercising by staff can greatly affect the outcome.
Despite the epidemic proportions of active shooter incidents, it is equally important to focus on other hazards to develop a prepared response. It is important to develop hazard specific plans and protocols for threats of increased likelihood and significant impact. It is encouraged that all of those who have the responsibility of providing safe areas of public gathering to identify the full spectrum of potential threats and develop a detailed plan to address each one. Department of Homeland Security offers some active shooter resources as well.
The questions we should ask ourselves as leaders of an organization:
1. Are your employees educated on their role in your plan?
2. Have you tested their knowledge through hands-on training and exercises?
3. Have you, as the leader, prepared your organization for potential scenarios that have caught many off guard?
We must all work together to minimize death and injuries through planning, training, and exercising.
Daniel Crawford is a Threat Research Content Writer and Business Development Support for Threat Tec. Daniel works closely with Subject Matter Experts to provide detailed analysis of emerging threats and how Threat Tec is innovating support and training for such threat mitigation.