Active shooters are a growing threat, and training to respond to them in the workplace involves having a plan, practicing drills and, if your company has the resources, implementing scenario training.
If you work in a large-scale facility with a lot of people — for example, a school, shopping mall, hospital, or corporate complex — you may already have active shooter response preparations in place as part of your self-defense training. Your security director or human resources department may have come up with an active shooter response plan and you may be doing active shooter training in the form of response drills.
What’s the Next Step?
You want to build up to doing full-on active shooter training that is scenario based. This may not be practical for some workplaces, but those who want their employees to be as prepared as possible will make the extra effort to put an emotionally charged, decision-making scenario in place once or twice a year.
Commitment of Resources
Putting in place active shooter training that is scenario based requires significant commitments of time, money, and lost productivity of the employees. To do true scenarios in your active shooter training, they need to be guided, and not guided by a person in your HR department who read something online.
To have a true active-shooter scenario, you need role players and you need someone — an instructor, a guide or an educator — facilitating the experience.
Scenarios vs Training Drills
Among self-defense concepts, scenarios are very different from training drills or simulations, which are linear and may isolate one part of the active shooter response. For example, “We’re going to simulate everyone having to exit the building as quickly as possible.” There’s no decision making involved in this, and you know it’s a drill.
Learn more about what active-shooter scenario training is in this video.