It is far too easy to consider workplace emergency training an unwelcome distraction or even an annoyance. You might think to yourself that you will never use the information you are being given, or that someone else will take responsibility when the time comes, and you promptly forget it soon after.
What happened recently at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Georgia proves that training well and often can truly save lives.
When a man entered into the elementary school carrying an assault rifle and began shooting at the ground, the extensive emergency training of Antoinette Tuff kicked in.
Thankfully Tuff and other school staff had received extensive training in dangerous situations involving trespassers and emergency protocol.
While Tuff worked to keep the gunman calm and spoke with him, she signaled a code to her two counterparts, who alerted teachers to lock doors and send children to safety. She then called 911 and began to act as a go-between to relay the shooter’s demands to the police.
Without police ever having directly talked to the gunman, Tuff helped him to surrender peacefully.
Her incredible heroism was recorded in the lengthy 911 call. She stayed calm and expressed empathy toward the gunman while revealing her own personal struggles. Hailed as a hero by President Obama, Tuff truly saved lives that day.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is offering free resources for Active Shooter Preparedness, including training workshops, webinars, video and other materials. Recent tragic events have unfortunately shown the need for education on issues such as active shooter awareness, incident response and workplace violence.
The DHS is offering these free courses, materials and workshops to better prepare the public to deal with an active shooter situation and to raise awareness of behaviors that represent pre-incident indicators and characteristics of active shooters.
- Active Shooter: What Can You Do Course
- Active Shooter Webinar
- Active Shooter Workshop Series
- Active Shooter: How to Respond Resource Materials (including include a desk reference guide, a reference poster, and a pocket-size reference card)
- U.S. Secret Service Active Shooter Related Research
- Active Shooter Resources for Law Enforcement and Trainers
A video entitled “Options for Consideration” demonstrates possible actions to take if confronted with an active shooter scenario. The instructive video reviews the choices of evacuating, hiding, or, as an option of last resort, challenging the shooter. The video also shows how to assist authorities once law enforcement enters the scene.
For more information please visit: http://www.dhs.gov/active-shooter-preparedness
The New York City Police Department recently released a comprehensive report, Active Shooter: Recommendations and Analysis for Risk Mitigation, which includes a comprehensive list of active shooter attacks dating back to 1966. The report contains a list of recommendations, tailored to building security personnel, to mitigate risks through procedures, systems and training. Also included is a detailed statistical analysis of 281 active shooter cases to identify common characteristics.
Highlights from the tactical recommendations in the report include:
- Installation of closed-circuit television systems that provide domain awareness of the entire facility and its perimeter; ensure that video feeds are viewable from a central command station.
- Designation of shelter locations with thick walls, solid doors with locks, minimal interior windows, first-aid emergency kits, communication devices, and duress alarms.
- Designation of a point-of-contact with knowledge of the facility’s security procedures and floor plan to liaise with police and other emergency agencies in the event of an attack.
- Identification of multiple evacuation routes and practice evacuations under varying conditions; post evacuation routes in conspicuous locations throughout the facility; ensure that evacuation routes account for individuals with special needs and disabilities.
- Active training for occupants of the building on how to react to an incident.
To download the complete NYPD report, “Active Shooter: Recommendations and Analysis for Risk Mitigation,” click here: