Active shooter incidents are unpredictable and evolve quickly. According to the FBI, both law enforcement personnel and citizens have the potential to affect the outcome of active shooter incidents based on their preparedness and response to the situation. The Department of Homeland Security recommends the development of emergency action plans and conducting mock training exercises.
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Form a collaborative planning team with representation from key stakeholders such as human resources, facilities management and local law enforcement to develop an emergency action plan.
Train employees to recognize warning signs and behaviors and implement a system for reporting that is tailored to your organization.
After an Emergency Action Plan is approved and disseminated, organizations should train their personnel so that they have the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the tasks identified in the plan.
Develop and maintain evacuation, shelter-in-place, hide, and lockdown policies and procedures for individual offices and buildings.
Institute access controls and implement additional security measures to ensure the physical security of your location.
Assemble crisis kits that include radios, floor plans & first aid kits. Pre-position necessary equipment in appropriate locations.
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Alert local authorities, employees and staff including those at remote locations immediately.
No single response fits all active shooter situations; however, making sure each individual knows his or her response options and empowering them to react decisively will save valuable time.
Facility occupants should be aware that the first priority for responding law enforcement is to respond to the threat, engage, and neutralize the active shooter as soon as possible; all other actions are secondary.
Evacuating staff should be trained to leave personal belongings behind, put their hands in the air to signal that they are unarmed to law enforcement responders and take others with them but not stay behind because others refuse to leave.
Occupants should be trained to know how to use more than one option in the run, hide, fight continuum.
When developing or making changes to an emergency plan, it is imperative that the needs of individuals with special needs or disabilities be addressed throughout the process.
Hospital staff members are exposed to volatile situations on a daily basis from individuals who suffer from psychological disorders, are distraught over the condition of a loved one, or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These situations are increasingly escalating to violence, including an increase in the number of hospital shootings. According to a recent study, shootings have been documented in all types of hospitals, including inner-city, suburban and rural in facilities of all sizes. This dynamic environment and it's potential for violent disruption have hospital leadership searching for solutions that will protect their staff and patients.