An Overview of Workplace Active Shooter Training

Active Shooter Training

What is Active Shooter Training?

Around two million Americans fall victim to workplace violence every year. For some occupations, it is one of the leading causes of death. It is difficult to predict when a violent situation at work may take a serious turn, especially with an active shooter at large. Active Shooter situations tend to escalate quickly, leaving a very small window for an effective response from law enforcement officials. Therefore, it is essential for all potential victims to learn about how they can handle this type of life-threatening and often random emergency situation. This is known as active shooter training. A training course of this nature give trainees insight into what constitutes workplace violence, the identification of a developing violent situation, as well as suggested responses to an active shooter scenario. The objective of this training is to prepare a workforce that will be capable of identifying a potentially violent situation and be equipped to respond to the threat effectively, minimizing any serious casualties until help arrives.

Active Shooter Training for Workplace Violence Prevention

Workplace violence prevention training is not a new concept. However, the nature of violence has evolved. Schools and popular public spaces are among the primary targets of assailants, and violence is no more just about occasional brawls. The fact is that most people are still not educated about handling an active shooting incident beyond finding a safe place to hide while professional help arrives. While this may be the obvious line of action to take in an emergency situation, it isn’t always practical- observations have shown that most recent shooting incidents didn’t have a particular pattern in terms of victims. Taking this into consideration, law enforcement agencies are now encouraging people to seek out advanced training to handle these situations. This will enable citizens to take on a more proactive role by recognizing a developing violent scenario and dealing with it in its initial stages. The active shooter training courses will allow trainees to adopt a more aggressive role, instead of just being on the defensive if the need arises. Something that is a need of time with the evolving nature of the crime.

Why Sign up for Active Shooter Training?

Law enforcement agencies are unable to manage the unpredictable and evolving nature of active shooter incidents. Such scenarios require a more collective response, something the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) refers to as a “whole community” approach. Specifically designed courses are available to help train participants for this collective approach. The DHS pledges its support to citizens by providing them with guidelines, tools, and resources to help prepare effective community responses to active shooter scenarios. From identifying what constitutes workplace violence, to educating participants on devising the best strategies of handling crisis situations, these courses provide comprehensive information for emergency preparedness. Since law enforcement has its limitations and there are precious lives at stake, communities have to step up their role. The first step to this is signing up for an active shooter training course.

Overview of Active Shooter Training

Designed from the perspective of potential victims, an active shooter training course teaches you the different steps one can take when an armed individual is attempting to kill a large number of people in a particular place. While it is difficult for those in imminent danger to control the situation on their own entirely, there are critical steps that can be taken to ensure personal safety in the event of an emergency. DHS lists out three options in such a case. The first option is to run. You need to have a well-thought-out escape route and a plan in mind. If there are others with you, share your idea with them and help them escape as well. If, however, they don’t agree with your plan while you are confident about it, you must evacuate. Don’t worry about your belongings, the wounded, or even other potential victims. It is essential to get to a safe place, keeping your hands visible at all times. Contact emergency services like local law enforcement agencies and hospitals once you are out of immediate danger. A second option is to hide. This involves finding cover in a place that is out of the shooter’s sight. If possible, block the entrance to your hideout and put your cell phone on the silent mode. A final option is to fight with the assailant. This should only be a last resort, reserved for when you believe your life is in immediate danger, and all other options have been considered and exhausted. Maintain an aggressive stance as much as possible and try to disarm the shooter. A good active shooter training course will not only cover all these emergency actions but will also provide comprehensive education on how and why such violent situations develop and how prepared citizens should respond to them at different stages. A training course will typically address the following aspects:
  • Triggers for workplace violence
  • Avoiding dangerous situations through preventive strategies and an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)
  • Individual roles and responsibilities in preventing violence at work
  • Critical steps to take during, and after, an emergency
  • Coordination with authorities and the community

Getting Active Shooter Training for the workplace

Panic and confusion are natural and immediate human responses in emergency scenarios. However, citizens must be prepared for high-pressure situations where numerous lives could be at stake.  Evacuation plans, emergency notification systems, and clear directives will factor into the effectiveness of individual responses. A well-designed course will ensure that when faced with a life-threatening incident in the workplace, employees are able to respond calmly and quickly, confidently following the guidelines that were previously laid down in preparation for such emergencies. A thoroughly prepared workplace is likely to avoid mass casualties. As violent incidents continue to rise, emergency preparedness training is not just restricted to first responders and administrative officials- the “community approach” indicates that all citizens should be able to take immediate and effective precautionary measures in the face of danger. In order to make this collective approach possible, Active Shooter Training Courses are relatively inexpensive and widely available online. Designed to be effectively detailed, yet convenient, participants must sign-up online to gain access to the course materials.

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