Why every company should learn active shooter response training

“Run, Hide, Fight.” Every phone on campus rang with those three words. 

It was the last day of school. Campus was alive with end-of-the-year celebrations as classes came to an end for the day. Spirits were high, and the sun shone so beautifully on the spring flowers–the anticipated summer was quickly approaching.

Suddenly, there was a shift in the air; a faint purr began overhead as police and news-channel helicopters whirled through the skies. It was then that every phone rang with the screams of the alert: “Shots fired…Run, Hide, Fight. Secure yourself immediately.”  

Confusion and fear permeated the air; panic flooded campus.

There was an active shooter on a college campus that thousands considered their home. It was surreal and unimaginable, an event no human can fully ever prepare for physically and mentally. 

An active shooter in your place of business, school, store, etc. is one of those phenomenons that you never expect to happen until it does.

The main difference between a college university and a place of business is the age range. Active school shooter drills began, for most schools, after the Columbine shooting (1999) and were reinforced after the Sandy Hook shooting (2012). Some might even refer to the younger generation that grew up with regular lockdown drills and active shooter drills as “Generation Lockdown.” Today, most college-aged students have experienced some sort of active-threat training. However, many employees that did not grow up with that knowledge and training may be unaware of the protocol for active threats. Therefore, for the sake of employees from all different backgrounds and ages, implementing an active-shooter training should be the standard for every place of business.

Even if it is a tedious regulation, thorough training can be crucial for survival and will no doubt be worthwhile if it prevents even just one fatality or injury. 

Additionally, while it is important for all employees to have active threat response training, it is even more critical for higher level management to be informed and extensively trained because many will look towards authority in moments of crisis, according to the Department of Homeland Security. 

Many institutions abide by the ALICE method

    • Alert
    • Lockdown
    • Inform 
    • Counter
    • Evacuate

The Department of Homeland Security abides by the “Run, Hide, Fight” method.

Does your institution have an active-threat standard in place? It is important for your business to figure out the best protocol for your institution and establish a standard in the case of any emergency.

To learn more about proper active-threat training and empower your employees with practical instruction, check out one of our many courses: Active Threat Response

In memory of Ellis “Reed” Parlier and Riley Howell

About the author: Lexi Hunkler, a summer marketing intern at OpenSesame, is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte studying Creative Marketing and Innovation. When not at work, you can find her on a road trip adventure, painting, or petting the nearest dog.