Numerous government agencies (federal, state and city), provide free resources for lone-shooter training and safety programs. No longer can we hide our head in the sand and say "It will not happen here." Mass Shooter Tracker maintains data; do you think these people said, "It will not happen here?" No longer can we hide our head in the sand and say "The training resources are too expensive." The Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, etc. ALL have resources to use to prepare us for shootings and workplace violence. Moreover, if that is not enough, OSHA mandates organizations have a "Workplace Violence" Program.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's ( OSHA) mission is to promote and to assure workplace safety and health and to reduce workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses.
As part of its preparedness mission, Ready Houston produced "Run, Hide, Fight" in six languages and another version using subtitles. All of these items are available free-of-charge, this video produced by the City of Houston with a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. This six-minute video, endorsed by multiple Federal agencies, dramatizes an active shooter incident in the workplace exemplifying the unpredictability and quick evolution of active shooter situations. Its purpose is to educate the public by demonstrating response actions during such an incident so that they can prepare for an active shooter situation. Active shooter events often appear spontaneous and evolve quickly. Therefore preparation is essential. This preparation should include training and planning that maximizes the possibility of survival.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provides a variety of no-cost resources to the public and private sector to enhance preparedness and response to an active shooter incident. The goal of the Department is to ensure awareness of actions that can be taken before, during, and after an incident.
DHS has developed a series of print materials to assist businesses, government offices, and schools in preparing for and responding to an active shooter. These resources include a detailed booklet, a desk reference guide, a reference poster, and a pocket-sized reference card. Much of this material is available in numerous languages: English, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Spanish and Urdu.
Issues covered in the active shooter resources include:
- Profile of an active shooter
- Responding to an active shooter or other workplace violence situation
- Training for an active shooter situation and creating an emergency action plan
- Tips for recognizing signs of potential workplace violence
Active shooter incidents, in many cases, have no pattern or method to the selection of victims, which results in an unpredictable and evolving situation. In the midst of the chaos, anyone can play an integral role in mitigating the impacts of an active shooter incident.
DHS has also developed a one-hour online course (IS-907 Active Shooter: What You Can Do). It provides an introductory lesson on the actions that may be taken when confronted by an active shooter, as well as indicators of workplace violence and how to manage the consequences of an incident. To access this course, please visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute online training website. By the end of this course, you will be able to:
·Describe actions to take when confronted with an active shooter and responding law enforcement officials.
- Recognize potential workplace violence indicators.
- Describe actions to take to prevent and prepare for potential active shooter incidents.
- Describe how to manage the consequences of an active shooter incident.
Not all recommendations provided here will apply to every facility. This course is intended to provide guidance for enhancing facility-specific plans and procedures.
Information can be quickly and easily modified 24/7 to provide real-time data to access for any crisis. In an emergency situation, it would be advantageous for the Emergency Command Center to share real-time, continuous feed information with employees:
- The status of the situation throughout the entire ordeal (hours or days)
- Areas where the situation is active and unfolding
- Locations that are safe and could be evacuated
- Access to the organization’s Emergency Management Procedures (usually in a notebook on the shelf)
- Review of first-aid procedures (video or audio files) to administer to injured individuals when the situation is clear and before first-responders and ambulances arrive
- Notification when all is safe and evacuation is possible
- Directions on where to go after the event to be accounted for and debriefed
- Spreadsheets of information if the ordeal is lengthy
In an emergency situation, it would be advantageous for the employees to share in real time, continuous feed with the Emergency Command Center:
- Description of the assailant, vehicle, etc.
- Status of the situation in their area (6 shot, two dead)
- Sounds, voices, comments (more than one?) of the crisis in their area
PLEASE SHARE THESE FREE RESOURCES WITH OTHERS. IT MIGHT SAVE A LIFE.