Is your workplace prepared for an active shooter event?

Do you have a response plan in place?

Do you have Stop the Bleed kits?

According to FBI statistics, the average active shooter event lasts between 3-5 minutes, and it takes police and EMS about 10 minutes to arrive on the scene. Before they arrive, your employees are on their own. They need to be prepared to act as a first responder for themselves and the injured.

Remember that your safety should come first – be prepared to act quickly and decisively.

Types of wounds you might see:

a graphic illustrating the types of wounds you'll need to learn to treat for an active shooter response.
  • Gunshot
  • Laceration
  • Puncture
  • Airway/breathing problems

The majority of the wounds you’ll see during an active shooter event include some degree of blood loss. You must address major blood loss first before other injuries. Remember, every second counts!

How to Stop Major Bleeding

Use pressure points: apply pressure to the primary artery that delivers blood and press on it to pinch it closed. You can find arteries based on their pulsing. If you’ve found the right artery, the bleeding will slow down dramatically.

Infographic on how to stop major bleeding from arms for an active shooter response plan.

Major bleeding from arms: The artery you need to close is most likely the brachial artery, which is located above the elbow bone, between your large upper arm muscles. To close this artery, make your hand into a “c” shape and apply pressure to the area.

An infographic on how to stop major bleeding from the legs for an active shooter response plan.

Major bleeding from legs: You’ll need to close the femoral artery, which is located near the top of your thigh, in the crease of the groin. This artery may require more pressure to close. Press down on the area with your body weight onto the heel of your hand. If more pressure is needed, use your knee.

How to Fashion a Tourniquet

Tourniquets are a great way to stop blood loss from a limb and can be created with household objects. A tourniquet consists of 3 components: a loop, stick, and lock. For the loop, you can use items like belts, ties, and computer cables. The stick can be a remote, a pair of metal scissors, or any straight, rigid object around 6 inches long.

A tourniquet for an active shooter response plan.

First, you must tie the stick in place over the bleeding extremity to keep it from unraveling. Go as high on the extremity as possible and tie an overhand knot. Apply the stick and tie another overhand knot. Twist the stick and apply pressure. Once the blood flow has stopped, secure the stick.

Never apply a tourniquet over a knee or elbow. If these areas are bleeding, place the tourniquet a few inches above the joint. Check on your tourniquet frequently to make sure it’s still working, but never remove it.

Where to Source Bandages

Bleeding from the neck, armpit, and groin can’t be closed using pressure points or tourniquets. These areas must be bandaged to help form a clot. You can use towels, clothes, and socks as improvised bandages. Hold the bandage for at least 5 minutes firmly and directly over the wound to ensure you’ve stopped the bleeding.

What to Do When EMS Arrives

As soon as EMS arrives, tell them as much as you can about the victims you’ve treated – their wounds, how you’ve treated them, etc. You may be asked to help EMS. Don’t be shy about helping. It’s been shown that helping EMS can help you with the psychological healing process after the event.

Create an Active Shooter Response Plan for Your Workplace

To some, it might seem unnecessary to learn how to respond to injuries because they believe their risk of an active shooter event is low. Risk is not just about probability – it’s a combination of probability, vulnerability, and consequences. Use this formula to get a true picture of your risk.

It’s your responsibility, under OSHA’s General Duty clause, to prepare your workplace and keep your staff safe. You can teach your staff what to do in preparation for an active shooter event or other types of workplace violence with online training. TPOP’s active shooter preparedness training will help you create an active shooter response plan customized for your workplace.

Let’s talk today about your company’s risk.