Active Shooter: Safety Topics - June 2019 Week 2


Monday, June 10

Active Shooter Emergency Planning

At the point of impact, generally people do not think about how they should respond in the life-threatening situation, they instinctively react because the incident is beyond their realm of comprehension. They never thought about it before, and they never imagined that it would happen. To create a workplace safety culture of caring and support, we must prepare for the unthinkable scenarios before they happen. The active shooter scenario is a brutally simple scenario, yet extremely complex in our preparation, investigation, response and recovery.

This week we want to think about and talk through an intruder active shooter scenario, and to use this planning process to build up our safety culture and leadership. How your team immediately reacts in any life-threatening incident – not just an active shooter scenario - can be the difference in life and death. Help your team think about safety before a response is required.

Active Shooter Awareness

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), an active shooter is an individual actively engaged in or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.  In most cases, active shooters use firearms with no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

Statistics: From an FBI study (2000-2017) involving 250 mass-casualty, active shooter incidents:


  • Commerce: 105 (42%)
    • Businesses open to public: 65 (26%)
    • Businesses closed to public: 30 (12%)
    • Malls: 10 (4%)
  • Education: 52 (20.8%) or Government: 25 (10%)
  • Open Spaces: 35 (14%) or Residential: 12 (4.8%)
  • Houses of Worship: 10 (4%)
  • Other (Bus): 1 (0.4%)


  • ​Of the 64 shooters involved in commercial business incidents open to the public:
    • 41 commited suicide
    • 19 were apprehended by law enforcement at the scene, while 8 fled the scene and were apprehended elsewhere
    • 18 were killed by law enforcement at the scene
    • 2 fled and were not apprehended
    • 1 was killed by a citizen

Perpetrators: Active shooters can be anyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, or demographic. Typically, perpetrators are insiders familiar with the location.    

Statistics Source:

Tuesday, June 11

Team Preparedness for Active Shooter Incident

What can you do to prepare as a team?

  • Facility wide security survey
  • Employee response training
    • Involve local law enforcement and first responders
  • Recognize potential indicators and take threats seriously
  • Recognize suspicious individuals and learn how to safely confront someone
    • Out of place
    • Clothing not appropriate for the weather
    • Dissatisfied with service
    • No security badge or name tag
  • Review past events at other locations to determine problems and benefits found during their event to include in your plan

Review Your Emergency Action Plan Elements:

  • Escape procedures and escape routes
  • Locations of exits
  • Locations of safe areas/strong points within your facility
  • Emergency notification system to alert employees
  • Safe destinations after evacuation
  • Contact information for key personnel
  • Local hospitals
  • Procedures to conduct drills

Additional Measures:

  • Control access – Are the doors locked?
  • Distribute critical items to managers/leaders/employees
    • Floor plans
    • Keys
    • Employee lists
    • Telephone numbers
  • Develop a crisis kit for evacuations
    • Critical items listed above
    • Flashlights, radios, first aid kits
  • Removable floor plans at exits for emergency responders

Wednesday, June 12

Immediate Response to Active Shooter Incident

Three immediate response options in order of preference:

  1. Run – Move quickly to the nearest exit, help others if possible, and warn/prevent individuals from entering building.
  2. Hide - Get behind a large object or an area outside the shooters view.  Barricade doors, remain quiet, silence cell phones, and stay put until law enforcement arrives and finds you.
  3. Fight – LAST RESORT!  If you commit to fight, do not hesitate.  Act aggressively, join forces, and improvise weapons.  Remember that improvised weapons require you to “close the distance” between you and the attacker putting you in a very dangerous situation.

Provide information:

When safe to do so, call 911 and law enforcement to tell them:

  • Shooter location
  • Number and description of shooters
  • Shooter’s weapon(s)
  • Number of potential victims

Law Enforcement Arrival:

Law enforcement’s immediate purpose is to stop the active shooter. They will enter rooms fast and hard to take control.  So when they enter the facility, remember:

  • When law enforcement officers give you a command, DO IT! 
    • They will treat everyone as an “Unknown” initially.
  • Put down any items, raise your hands, and spread your fingers wide.
  • Avoid quick movements, pointing, screaming, or yelling.
  • Proceed in direction from which officers are entering unless directed otherwise.

Thursday, June 13

Post Active Shooter Event Actions

Immediate for Individuals:

  • Cooperate with law enforcement and emergency medical personnel
  • Assess your physical and mental safety and security – if you are injured, seek help
  • Assist others with first aid and care management – if you are not injured, help someone who is
  • Check in with your supervisor and/or crisis team to let them know you are safe and accounted for
  • Notify your most important emergency contact that you are safe
  • You do NOT have to be interviewed by news media or broadcast on social media
    • Think before you say anything - out of respect to fellow employees and their families affected

Immediate for Crisis Response Team:

  • Determine who is missing or injured (accountability location)
  • Family notifications
  • Assess psychological state of individuals and provide stress counseling
  • Identify and fill critical personnel or operational gaps

Long Term for Management:

  • Establish temporary facility
    • Your facility will be a crime scene and can’t be re-entered until released by law enforcement
  • Continued care for affected employees
  • Review and critique response to the incident
  • Analyze and improve the Emergency Action Plan
  • Improve safe areas

Friday, June 14

People with Violent Indications – How to Seek Help

These are some common character changes noticed in attackers beforehand:

  • Increased alcohol/drug use
  • Paranoid, depressed, withdrawn, and unproductive
  • Unstable or explosive temper
  • Suicidal intentions
  • Grudges against coworkers or company
  • Not working well with others
  • Recent demotion or failed promotion
  • Family issues

If you think someone might be struggling with these violent issues, please contact your supervisor, a Human Resources manager, a EHS manager, or another person you trust to help. You do not have to get the struggling person help on your own. Find someone you trust to help you go to local authorities, check into a mental health or welfare facility, or seek professional counseling.

Right now let’s talk about the available help that we have here at our workplace, and our process and options for helping someone get help they need.


Tags: safety topics , emergency management , ehs programs ,

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