By Don Cox, Education Specialist
It’s a typical workday morning. A call comes in and you begin to tense up as you learn it’s from the local elementary school. An intruder entered with a deadly weapon. Children and teachers have been injured. They’re waiting for your arrival. . .
Is your organization prepared?
Some of us have an illusion of immunity. We see the media reports of these types of catastrophes but still have a mindset that we will never find ourselves responding to that type of call. However, the FBI reported that the number of active shooter instances has been on the rise since 2000. In fact, between 2014 and 2015, 92 people were killed and 139 injured as the result of an active shooter attack.1
It’s important that your emergency service organization has plans in place and is working with other public entities to be prepared. The National Fire Protection Association is currently proposing a national standard on preparedness and response to active shooter scenarios and incidents to help emergency service organizations address appropriate training, inter-agency coordination protocol and the identification of required personal protective equipment.2
What should you do?
Complete a risk assessment to:
- help you identify points of vulnerability
- provide awareness and training tips
- illustrate how to work with other public entities in a crisis situation
While these types of events are nearly impossible to predict, creating and implementing a plan and conducting regular training sessions within your organization and community can help prepare you to properly respond if you ever find yourself facing an active shooter situation.
For more detailed information about each step of the risk assessment process and for a free threat assessment tool, download the VFIS Terrorism Preparedness Assessment Matrix at vfis.com/emergency-service-operations.
1. Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2016). Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2014 and 2015.
2. National Fire Protection Association. Preparedness and response to active shooter scenarios and incidents.