In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.
Did you know that relying on lockdown alone will significantly endanger occupants in a violent intruder situation? This is because traditional lockdown creates readily identifiable targets and makes a shooter’s mission easier; whether the event occurs in a hospital, a school, a church, or a business.
The Active Shooter Preparedness Training Program at BSR was implemented in 2014 through the realization that encounters with a violent incident in the workplace, school facility, religious facility, or open venues were occurring at an increasingly alarming rate. Through these incidents, leadership and facilities has evolved to new tactics and procedures on how to better mitigate these situations by implementing “Lockdown” procedures. As we have evolved, so has the threat. We can no longer rely on “Lockdown” alone, there is so much more than can be done.
With emphasis being placed on training and preparation for an Active Shooter Event (ASE), BSR focused on developing an all-encompassing program that gives workplace management, school resource officers, school faculty, and religious leadership the tools necessary to increase their chances of survivability when such a violent incident were to occur.
Active Shooter Training Philosophy:
To better address the evolution of tactics and procedures in an ASE, BSR developed a program called B.E.C.O.N. Through the implementation of a set of non-sequential strategies, we learn the differences between being proactive vs. passive, thus instilling that survival mindset, and gaining the much needed confidence to make a decision and act upon it. We do it in a way that is practical, realistic, and applicable in its simplest form. We provide a common sense response to a not so common sense situation.
Utilize whatever you have available within the room to construct an effective barricade that makes entry into the room either impossible or forces the Active Shooter to mitigate it.
In the face of danger, our human instinct is to remove ourselves from that threat. Just like our standard fire drills, you get OUT of the building. If you know where the threat is located and you have made the collaborative decision to egress/evacuate, do not let people’s indecision to egress/evacuate slow you down. Help direct them to come with you, but get out of the building quickly.
If you are a Manager, Teacher, Supervisor be the “Leader”. Step up and take charge of the situation. Give clear guidance and directions to all of those you come across.
It may take an act of aggression to stop the Active Shooter from killing you or others. Becoming the attacker is not expected and may just be the action required to survive a situation.
Put out “Real-time” information as quickly as possible. Use a cellphone, handheld radio, public address system or yell. Information should always be clear, direct and, as much as possible, should communicate the whereabouts of the intruder. Effective information can keep the shooter off balance, giving people in the facility more time to further lockdown, or evacuate to safety. The more information you tell people the more options you give them for courses of action.
With mass shootings on the rise, we expect to see more workplace management, school resource officers, school faculty, and religious leaders taking preventative and precautionary measures to ensure the safety of their buildings and the individuals within. Locally, schools like Quarles Elementary School in Winchester, VA are trying to bump up their active shooter training. It was just for training purposes, but officials tried their best to make it look and feel like the real thing.
As Joe Poyer stated, “Thorough preparation makes its own luck.”