Issue 6 | Volume 4 | 2015
BY: Ted Hayes, CSP, MSE, Senior Risk Manager, M3 Insurance and Mike Bolender, PW Training Group
FOCUS TOPIC - ARMED INTRUDERS
35 Basic Lifesaving Tips when Facing an Armed Intruder or Active Shooter
Even with all of the violent incidents occurring in today’s world, your chances of being involved in an active shooter situation are slim; unfortunately, armed intruders and active shooter situations are occurring with greater frequency every year. Statistics indicate that a little more than 60% of active shooter situations are over within five (5) minutes – the shooter leaves the area, the shooter takes their own life (about 40%), or law enforcement/a prepared citizen neutralizes the situation. Knowing exactly what to do during those few minutes may mean the difference between life and death for you, a coworker and many others in your building. Simply stated, an active shooter seeks three factors: • Easy ‘targets of opportunity’ • Little or no barricades or restrictions that will limit their movement • Little or no supervision or confrontation that will restrict or end their actions Whether your organization uses A.L.I.C.E, Run-Hide-Fight, Lockdown, Evacuation, or other employee crisis action protocols, it is critical to comprehend how to place as many ‘roadblocks’ as possible between yourself and the intruder/shooter to increase your chances of surviving an active shooter event.
Honestly ask yourself, is everyone in your company prepared to deal with an armed intruder or an active shooter? Take the time to share these proven lifesaving ideas with everyone: Be prepared to ‘act not react.’ People die when they mistakenly believe they must confirm the crisis is real. If you hear a sound that you perceive to be a gunshot, it is a gunshot until proven otherwise. It’s acceptable to individually initiate your lockdown or run-hide-fight protocols – if it’s proven to be a non-crisis, that’s okay. Create mental ‘action scripts.’ An ‘action script’ is a mental rehearsal plan of ‘what if’ scenarios regarding your immediate response to variety of crises – ‘if this happens I will do that.’
Out of respect for the schools and victims that have all experienced school shootings, we are foregoing our normal Case Study format this month. Instead, we hope that the resources included herein will give you much to think about as you continue to develop your situational awareness in response to armed intruder training.
SPOTLIGHT TOPIC - STUDENT TRAVEL
Do you have a clearly identified and prepared group in place to receive reports, assess risks and develop intervention and management strategies to mitigate that risk?
Has your school created a central reporting mechanism?
Is a team member charged with proactively monitoring all incoming reports and respond immediately when someone is concerned about the safety of themselves or others?
How do you very specifically define prohibited and concerning behavior in your school?
Have you the determined the threshold for law enforcement intervention in your school?
Has that threshold taken into consideration any onsite school resource officers, should they be regularly engaged by your school.
What are your established threat assessment procedures?
How well have you developed, multi-dimensional and multi-tiered risk management options?
Does your school have an unwavering commitment to creating and promoting a healthy school climate, one that encourages student involvement?
Do you have enough well trained guidance counselors on staff?
June Topic Announced - Information Security
This coming month we will be diving into the fascinating topic of Information Security, the practice of preventing unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, inspection, recording or destruction of information. The Intro Video and Resources will be available on May 31st.
As part of this month's self assessment, we gave you some questions to think about. We want to reintroduce you to ten areas to ponder as you continue to put your people first in preparation for an armed intruder event.
Situational Awareness Creates More Time for Prevention and Response
“Right now the school I work at seems to not really care about security. … So how do you get the administration to change their security mindset to realize that it is very important?”
This is one of the questions we received yesterday during our webinar about fostering situational awareness on campus. I’d like to say I’m surprised by such a question, but I’m not because society continues to struggle with what I call the “apathy factor.” I’m not a psychologist, but maybe we don’t like to dwell on negative, worst-case scenarios for fear of, well, fear. No one wants to believe that an incident with mass losses will occur on “my campus,” but what if it did?
Regardless of the cause – gas explosion, terrorist attack, armed intruder, tornado – these real and recent events from around the world underscore the need for awareness. As Brad Spicer of SafePlans explains, you have to know your environment and what’s dangerous in and around it. Then I think we both believe the next steps are to figure out what you can do to reduce impacts and respond quickly when you need to.
You see, situational awareness is a mindset and overall approach, not for causing fear but rather, for creating time for you and your staff to prevent and/or respond to a potential threat. As Brad asked during the webinar,
"When would you rather know an intruder is present – when he’s in the parking lot or at the door?”
Even the smallest observation can mitigate risk, and it’s up to all of us to be aware. Safety and security is everyone’s job regardless of whether or not you wear a badge. When a gunman entered Atlanta’s Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in August 2013, the bookkeeper’s heroic efforts helped resolve the situation without any loss of life.
In addition to developing emergency preparedness and response plans, including crisis training, you also can implement technology to augment and automate situational awareness and response management. You can arm your staff with knowledge, detailed information about what’s happening, where it’s happening, and what to do about it. With today’s smarter networks and devices plus software to tie all of them together, it’s easier and more cost-effective than ever to create a safety and security bubble over a single campus or an entire district.
Your preparation for a real armed intruder, particularly your school's situational awareness is only as strong as your COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS. We see schools put good training into play without having installed and implemented the use of their public address system or one of the variety of smart-phone applications that can help connect your faculty and staff to each other as well as law enforcement. We cannot encourage you enough to keep building that law enforcement relationship and make sure you have good tools in place to communicate before, during, and after both drills and events.
Situational awareness technology can integrate disparate alarm and communication systems to ensure that real-time information reaches both on- and off-site responders.
Such centralized monitoring and automated alerting helps to reduce confusion and panic that can lead to delays and costly mistakes, speed decision-making/response, and restore order as soon as possible. In this day and age, there’s really no excuse for ignorance. The world is full of screens and other communication end points, and our job is making sure information gets to all of them to better protect people, property, business and convenience. Posted on January 30, 2015 by Mike MacLeod at www.statussolutions.com