You are in your office at your job, starting your day, and enjoying your morning cup of coffee, when shots ring out and screams are heard. You are in the airport, on the way to a business meeting, or family vacation, and a man appears with a rifle and starts shooting. You could be anywhere, at any time, when someone starts randomly shooting at you, your co-workers, or your loved ones. It is an unfortunate and horrific circumstance that this is our reality today. How prepared are you to take the best action possible to give you the maximum chance of surviving an active shooter incident?
I spent yesterday in a corporate class that addressed just this subject matter. It’s serious stuff. You may ask how this relates to the business subjects I normally discuss. The statistics are clear that active shooter incidents in the workplaces comprise 45% of the total of all active shooter incidents in the U.S. There is no close second place.
People spend significant time at their workplace, and although the likelihood of an occurrence at ANY workplace may be low, if you are in the place that a shooter picks, you better have a plan.
The company where I attended the Response to Active Shooter class, realizes that these incidents can occur anywhere, at any time. Only two weeks previous to the training, a disgruntled man fired a shot from an AK47 at one of their jobsites. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but it brought home the realty of the risks we now experience in the workplace; you just never know. The class had been booked for months, and this was a coincidence, but it was a wakeup call.
Active shooter training is critical for anyone regardless of their employment. The same techniques of observation and survival we learned, apply to travel, driving, home, or in any public place, event, restaurant, nightclub, or school.
I think any corporation, or workplace that takes the step to offer this training to its employees is way ahead in the “caring about its employees” department.
The people attending the RTAS class were mostly business owners, each with their own business and employees. Their comments after the class were that the training made them realize what they did not know about staying as safe as possible, the actions to take and not take, and what to do if you or another is shot, when to help, and how to help. The instructors also discussed what law enforcement does when they arrive and what their mission is, and when paramedics can and will arrive to help the injured. The answers may not be what you expect. A paramedic was also there to discuss basic first aid.
As a business owner, I see this type of training as a gift and a necessity for employers to give to their employees, and a responsibility for each of us to understand, to give ourselves the best chance of surviving workplace violence, or terrorism anywhere. The vast majority of these incidents occur in only 2-5 minutes. Law enforcement will not arrive quickly enough to help, so we must help ourselves.
There are several companies that produce this training. The company that produced this training was Street Safe Defense Texas, the website is www.responsetoactiveshooter.com, e mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
They travel anywhere. I am hoping more companies realize how important this training is and offer it. It is 3 hours of time that can save lives.