Do you provide active shooter preparedness training for your employees?
When was the last time it was updated?
It’s important that your active shooter preparedness training is regularly updated with the latest information. Updated training can inform your staff about lessons learned from previous shootings, changes in policies and procedures, and keep the training fresh in their minds.
For example, pulling a fire alarm during an active shooter event is not generally advised. In the past, some have used fire alarms as warning signs to others to get out of the building. We now know that this can potentially put people in harm’s way. Fire alarms bring in firefighters who are prepared for fires, not active shooters. If the shooter is still in the building, a fire alarm may put the firefighters at risk, too.
Pulling the fire alarm can also cause more damage to those inside the building. It’s people’s first instinct to exit when they hear a fire alarm. If they don’t know where the shooter is, or even that there is one, leaving their current location could be more dangerous than staying put. Active shooters may use this tactic too, knowing how people will respond. The Parkland shooter pulled the fire alarm knowing there would be many students evacuating that he could target. Having learned this lesson, we know not to do it.
In your active shooter response plan, have you coordinated with your local police? The Virginia Beach shooting shows the importance of coordinating with police. The municipal building used a keycard system to enter, and as an ex-employee, the shooter still had his keycard. The police arrived on the scene in 2 minutes but couldn’t get in without a keycard or door code. As you update your training, update your response plan with information that the police or EMS should know in the event of an emergency. This information includes the layout of your building, door codes, and how to gain access to restricted areas.
Your Staff Needs Specialized Active Shooter Training
Is your training relevant to your industry?
Industry specific training is more useful and impactful than generic training. If your current training uses a “one size fits all approach,” your employees could be missing out on relevant information regarding how to respond to an active shooter in their unique environment. For example, field-based employees in the utilities sector won’t receive the full benefits of training if the training takes place in an office environment.
Updating your training also allows your staff to build on the information they already know and learn new information that could save their lives. The more your staff knows and the more they think about how they’d respond to an event, the better chance they have of surviving. Responding calmly and intelligently to a violent event requires building muscle memory, and that requires frequent flexing of the muscle (the brain!). Remember – the body can’t go where the mind hasn’t been.
TPOP offers industry specific training for:
- Corporate facilities
- Fast Food and restaurants
- Grocers and retailers
- Mass gatherings
- Houses of worship
Let’s talk about updating your training today.