Training Your Staff for an Active Shooter Situation
An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. To best prepare your staff for an active shooter situation, create an emergency action plan (EAP) and conduct training exercises. Together, the EAP and training exercises will prepare your staff to effectively respond and help minimize loss of life.
Components of Training Exercises
The most effective way to train your staff to respond to an active shooter situation is to conduct mock active shooter training exercises. Local law enforcement is an excellent resource in designing training exercises.
Training components may include the following:
• Recognizing the sound of gunshots
• Reacting quickly when gunshots are heard and/or when a shooting is witnessed:
1. Evacuating the area
2. Hiding out
3. Acting against the shooter as a last resort
• Calling 911
• Reacting when law enforcement arrives
• Adopting the survival mindset during times of crisis
Additional Ways to Prepare For and Prevent an Active Shooter Situation
Below are steps you can take to improve preparedness:
• Ensure your facility has at least two evacuation routes.
• Post evacuation routes in conspicuous locations throughout your facility.
• Include local law enforcement and first responders during training exercises.
• Encourage law enforcement, emergency responders, SWAT teams, K-9 teams and bomb squads to train for an active shooter scenario at your location.
In addition, make sure to have the phone numbers on hand for the following:
• Emergency services
• Local emergency information line
• Local police department
• Local fire department
• Local hospital
• Local FBI field office
• Facility security
For more information on creating an EAP, contact the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Health and Safety Administration, http://www.osha.gov