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What is a Critical Incident Response to An Active Shooter?

A Security Magazine Exclusive

Planning and training truly define how effective our companies will manage an active shooter situation.     

Active shooter by definition, a suspect(s) activity is immediately causing death or serious bodily injury. The activity is not contained and there is immediate risk of death or serious injury to potential victims.

We need to understand that this type of situation is a dynamic situation and one that doesn’t fit the norm of critical incident management. This is why our preparation strategies must be adjusted to this type of situation. Is our security team trained to manage this type of situation? They should be for the main reason that in most situations they are probably going to be the first contact with law enforcement.

Relevant issues of planning should include announcement of the emergency—how do we notify employees of the situation? Lockdown procedures, access control, and the placement of site maps at our front doors or gates for law enforcement should be addressed in the plan in addition to personnel accountability and company notifications teams for the families of possible victims of either death or injury. A media response plan for situations that involve injuries and death is also an important component of any response plan.

Some of our existing crisis management plans can be aligned with the above recommendations to make a very effective and comprehensive response plan.

 Planning and training truly define how effective our companies will manage an active shooter situation.     

James E. McGinty is Vice President, Training & Safety, Covenant Security Services and an Instructor with ASIS International



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