Information to Help be Prepared Against Active Shooters in Schools and Universities
Are You Prepared for an Active Shooter?
Part of EDI-USA’s Series: Are YOU Prepared For…?
An Active Shooter emergency is one that occurs unpredictably, evolves quickly, and is over within minutes or hours. That means time is of the essence when it comes to making a difference in the outcome and saving lives. Your team will want to neutralize the shooter as soon as possible, all while evacuating and protecting bystanders in as safe, orderly, and effective a manner as possible.
Whether responding to an Active Shooter emergency in the workplace, a school, a shopping center, or any other confined and populated area where an active shooter is targeting civilians, EDI’s equipment can help your team save lives, maximize their protection, and carry the day.
Is your agency prepared for an active shooter threat?
Responding to an active shooter incident is a tremendous responsibility for security and law enforcement. It requires careful planning, discipline, and sense of duty. With foresight and preparation, you can maximize your agency’s ability to nimbly respond to an active shooter situation, saving lives and taking control of the situation as quickly as possible.
In recent years, many law enforcement organizations have evolved to offer Active Shooter Trainings. Some of these trainings offer a collaborative approach, drawing on insights and post-hoc analyses run by other police and security agencies that have confronted an active shooter situation. This research, and the collective pool of information and strategies, can be a life-saving resource for other agencies looking to hone their own strategies and preparedness.
Developing a Tactical Playbook
When it comes to responding to an active shooter threat, it’s important for you team to put together a playbook in advance. The playbook will acquaint everyone on your team with the strategies you may draw on to respond to an active shooter situation. Running through these drills will help your team practice working together as a unit, and familiarize each team member with the roles they may play, depending on the circumstances and their positioning.
Since the 1999 Columbine Shooting, police teams no longer wait for SWAT teams to arrive before confronting an active shooter. Borrowing tactics from infantry patrols and hostage rescue teams, police and security teams have had their roles expand into confronting active shooters.
Since the tactics required to effectively neutralize an active shooter are drawn from a military approach, EDI’s ballistic gear can be a lifesaving asset for your team. Our lightweight, well-built gear is designed to facilitate movement, giving your officers the protection while facilitating their operations. Key products EDI recommends for all teams preparing for an active shooter situation include:
THE FAST HIGH-CUT HELMET (III-A)
Designed for high-tactical operations, EDI’s FAST High-Cut Helmet allows users to protect themselves while also being able to attach radio communication and night vision devices to the helmet. Tough, strong, and amazing – this helmet provides it all.
EDI’s rugged ballistic shields provide III-A, III, or IV ballistic protection. Available with or without lights, and compatible with FoxFury® tactical shield flashlights. Custom sizes and front inscriptions are available.
HANDCUFFS, LEGCUFFS, AND RESTRAINTS
When you’ve taken an active shooter into custody, given the tension of the moment and the publicity the event will generate, it’s important to maintain control over the assailant and make transit to a holding cell run as quickly as possible. EDI’s handcuffs, leg restraints, and transportation systems protect your officers while giving them the tools they need to assert control over the situation.
Active Shooter Preparedness Plans in Your Community
Given the world we live in, it’s important for police departments and security agencies in the United States to coordinate with local businesses, school districts, and other agencies to put active shooter preparedness plans in place. Active shooter strikes occur randomly, and making sure local leaders know the drill can give peace of mind and help save lives.
When helping local commercial centers and school district officials make their active shooter preparedness plans, some important things to cover are:
- Identifying escape routes, and making sure staff members know how to access them and what paths to follow
- The importance of leaving all belongings behind
- Strategies for sheltering-in-place
- How to respond when police arrive
Staying Safe and Staying Prepared
Since active shooter strikes occur randomly and without warning, it is important to keep your team’s skills and equipment up-to-date. Regularly run through the drills in your Tactical Playbook with your team. Check in with your community leaders about their efforts to spread the word about their Active Shooter Preparedness Plans within their places of business, schools, and other places where the public congregates.
It is also critically important that you properly maintain the gear your officers may need in the case of an active shooting. Each of EDI’s products comes with comprehensive information on how to properly clean and store your gear. To make sure all gear remains in a condition ready for tactical operations, it’s important to assign a team member to regularly check over the gear, to make sure everything is ready and in place. EDI recommends running these gear checks monthly, as part of a routine active shooter preparedness check-in.
The Final Word
The ability to respond effectively to an active shooter requires complex advance preparation. You will need to work with your team to develop a tactical playbook, invest in the right gear, and coordinate with community leaders and local stakeholders to ensure schools, public areas, and places of business near you have credible plans in place for an active shooter situation.
Together, these strategies will ensure that your officers are trained and confident, and that the groundwork has been laid to maximize the effectiveness of your team’s response to an active shooter situation.
EDI salutes your hard work, and from our team to yours, offer a heartfelt thanks to the serving men and women who put their lives on the line to keep the public safe.