What is an Active Shooter?
“Active Shooter” is an American term which has been adopted by us in the UK to mean a person or people with weapons who mean to threaten or kill you. It seems so innocuous to put it like that and yet the result of this definition may be the death of your staff if they do not have knowledge and fast decision making skills.
In the UK the police tend to favour the expression Marauding Terrorist Firearms Attack (MTFA) and they are very clear what this means within their terms of reference.
RPS Partnership prefers to use “Active Shooter” to cover all firearms attacks as it is easily recognised globally and covers a broad spectrum of incidents in the response. These are many and varied depending on which country you are in. A disgruntled employee with a shot gun in the workplace may be common in some, whilst in others a College Lone Wolf with a high powered rifle on the loose may be more likely. To the extreme, well-planned and co-ordinated terrorist attacks are becoming more common throughout the world and more challenging for all sectors of business.
We keep it simple in how we consider what training to provide
What does this term represent to you and me, the everyday person, going about their business? To us, this borrowed term means a lone gunman, a group of gunmen, someone with a suicide vest or grenade. But the bottom line is - they want to kill us! It doesn't matter to us what the ideology is that makes a person become intent on this course of action. You have split seconds in which to make decisions which will save your life.
“Freeze, Fight, Flight”. Which one will you chose?
Contact us for details on course programmes or to discuss the security of your employees, secuirty staff and management.
Just what do organisations in London and other cities, as well as those with global operations do to train their staff to deal with an Active Shooter?
Many organisations shy away from this type of training for many reasons. However they carry out regular fire alarms tests and fire drills when the likelihood of these happening is slim, so why are many so reticent to conduct Active Shooter Training?
Is it down to cost or is it more a question of “how palatable the subject is with staff”?
Many of your staff will live in a world where they want to bury their head in the sand; “as long as my company has a security plan and the security staff know how to use it, how does it affect me?”
Some organisations are worried about the psychological effect on staff? They are worried about their reactions. Will they be scared? Will they not want to come to work?
The Metropolitan Police in the UK has upgraded the threat of international terrorism to “severe”, this means that a terrorist attack is highly likely; click here for more information.
Whilst many government agencies are working hard to prevent an attack, is it time for your organisation to take ownership?
What does Active Shooter Training do?
The training dispels fear, the fear of the unknown; it allows staff to learn survival in the work environment. Training sharpens the mind.
Self-reliance will save people and we now have plenty of examples where those who survived most certainly found their inner confidence to make good decisions on a very difficult day.
It is easy to say don’t “peddle fear”, but are your staff afraid of this type of situation? Death has a very high impact on the risk assessment matrix, which Risk & Resilience professionals use to define budgets for security and training.
“Hope is not a Plan”
Organisations need to be more aware of this as they manage risk with financial constraints.
Call the Active Shooter what you want; "violent person with a gun" may even be the most simplistic definition, but as an organisation you have a duty of care to your staff and your organisation. Is it ok to bury your head in the sand or is it time to assess the risk and meet it head on?
We can include Emergency First Aid.
Bleeding and Breathing. How to keep someone alive til the emergency services arrive.
Ask yourself – have you mitigated against this risk?
Are your procedures robust enough and are you confident your staff know how to react?
Photo: RPS training exercise