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Active Shooter Safety

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On April 30, 2019 two students at UNC Charlotte were fatally shot and four were injured when a 22-year-old opened fire on campus. Only a week later on May 7, 2019, a shooting occurred at a Colorado school resulting in one death and eight injuries. These tragedies are the most recent examples of the escalating trend of active shooter scenarios taking place across the country. Sunstates Security offers our heartfelt thoughts and sympathies to all those affected by the past week’s events, as well as the victims of all gun-related violence. We take active shooter preparedness very seriously and encourage everyone to have an emergency plan in place. Terry Hairston, CEO of Defend and Protect, Inc. recently presented a training session to Sunstates management staff enforcing the message that “You never know what you prevent, you only know what you don’t”. Let this be a reminder to have plans in place and know the best ways to respond if the situation arises. For the purpose of this blog, we’ll focus on three things: prevention, preparation, and best courses of action.

Prevention of Workplace Violence

Active shooter scenarios can occur anywhere, but often occur in the workplace. Key ways to help prevent workplace violence include fostering a respectful work environment and knowing the warning signs of someone who might be considering violence. Common signs include:

  • Increased use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs
  • Unexplained increase in absenteeism
  • Resistance and overreaction to changes in policies and procedures
  • Noticeably unstable, emotional responses
  • Comments about “putting things in order” or “getting even”
  • Increase in interest and comments about firearms, other weapons and violent crimes

The most important step in prevention is sharing information with management and/or law enforcement if you suspect anything suspicious about co-workers or unfamiliar visitors in your workplace.

Preparation

It is vital to have an emergency action plan in place and to practice the plan. People often think that an active shooter scenario will never happen to them. Unfortunately, violence doesn’t make exceptions for any person or setting, so it is critical to always maintain a high level of situational awareness. Create your action plan and focus on these components:

  • Preferred method for reporting fires and other emergencies                                                                                                        Image 1 for Active Shooter Safety Post
  • Evacuation policy and procedure
  • Escape procedure and route assignments (floor plans and safe areas) NOTE: Always identify two exits in any facility or venue as soon as you enter
  • Local area hospital information
  • Emergency notification system that alerts employees, law enforcement, and hospitals

Action

An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill in a confined and populated area. In most cases, they are using firearm(s) and they have no pattern or method to the selection of their victims. If you are subject to an active shooter scenario, it is imperative that you assess the situation and decide whether to run, hide, or fight.

  • This is the most desirable option and is where your escape route and plan come in to play. Leave your belongings, keep hands visible to law enforcement, and follow instructions of police officers if any are present. Call 9-1-1 when safe.
  • If you cannot escape the environment, immediately get out of the shooter’s view. Close and lock doors, turn out lights, and put barriers between yourself and the shooter (desk, barricade, etc.). Silence your phone and remain quiet. If you can safely call 9-1-1, provide them with the location of the shooter, the number of shooters and a physical description, the number and type of weapons, and number of potential victims. Do not open the door or come out of hiding until law enforcement identify themselves and instruct you to do so.
  • Do this as a last resort if your life is in imminent danger. Act as aggressively as possible by throwing items, yelling, and improvising weapons. Most importantly, commit to your actions and be prepared to fight for your life.

Image 2 for Active Shooter Safety Post
Sunstates Security encourages everyone to take action against becoming a victim. Prevent, prepare, and act. Again, our thoughts and sympathies go out to all affected by gun violence. For more information on active shooter training and Sunstates Security, please visit SunstatesSecurity.com.

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Written by Sunstates Security

May 23rd, 2019 at 7:16 pm