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  • Writer's pictureKyle Hartman

Does your organization have an active shooter response plan?

Last month, the Atlanta City Council passed ordinance that will now require all part-time, full-time and contract employees of the city to undergo annual active shooter training according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

With the Virginia Municipal building massacre last month, where an employee injured four and killed twelve, there is a large concern for cities to start training the workers and staff. The Chronicle also states the Department of Human Resources will be responsible for ensuring the timeliness and completion of all the training, and the police will conduct the training.

This is good news to us as we feel strong about raising awareness in regard to public safety. The only concern for us is this is not going to be required at the public level, and that leaves many organizations without even the most basic training or understanding of what to do during these types of situations.

"What would you do if an active shooter decided to hit your place of employment or business?"

"Where are your exit routes in that building?"

"Does your employer enforce facilities policies and procedures for incidents such as fires, natural disasters, or active shooter incidents?"

These are all simple questions to what seems to be a growing issue. Not having a plan in place will cause panic, and more loss of life in many cases.

One of the major aspects of JPA's training outline is establishing an active shooter emergency action plan. This plan is has many components, one of them being the response plan. An active shooter response plan is something that helps at the individual level and is also trainable. We teach one of the most common methods called "Run, Hide, Fight."

Having a plan that your staff can easily remember will ultimately save lives in the event something ever were to happen. When chaos and panic strike, common sense is easily thrown out the window unless one trains to remain sensible in an unlikely situation. We encourage the "Run, Hide, Fight" method for it's simplicity yet effectiveness. There are a few options when deciding on the response plan, but they are all relatively similar. Be sure to do your research and ensure you have the best response plan for your organizational needs. Here is the breakdown of "Run, Hide, Fight" which will give you basic instructions in the event someone starts shooting the place up.

Run: Your first move should be to get out of harms way as quickly and safely as possible. Have an escape plan in mind always and go regardless of what the others do. Be sure to leave belongings behind and warn others not to enter once you make it to safety. If you run past law enforcement officers, be sure to keep your hands visible, remain calm, and don't make sudden movements toward the officers.

Hide: If you can't run to safety, the next best option is to hide. Only hide if you feel there is enough to keep you hidden and you are not in the line of sight of any shooters. Lock all doors and blockade them with large items. Close, cover and move away from any windows. Silence all electronic devices and remain quiet.

Fight: This is a last resort and should only be used if your life is in imminent danger. If possible, work together and act with complete aggression. Improvise weapons with anything you have nearby and throw other objects. The goal is to disrupt and/or incapacitate the shooter(s).

Here is a brief video that we recommend watching and covers more in depth these topics. The goal isn't to traumatize you, it's to keep you informed, confident, and safe. Please be sure your place of employment is truly placing safety first. If you are an employer, organizational leader, or concerned citizen please feel free to contact us by clicking here, should you have any more questions.

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