Disasters

ACTIVE SHOOTER

ACTIVE SHOOTER

An Active Shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

Since 2006, the U.S. has averaged an active shooter event with 4 or more deaths every 2.9 months.

Even though the number of Active Shooter events has been increasing, your odds of being involved in one are still very slim. But just like fire drills and earthquake preparedness, making a plan in advance can make all the difference.

If you do find yourself in the middle of a senseless attack, the “why” doesn’t matter. Knowing what to do can save lives. Here in Hamilton County, the Sheriff's Department teaches the A.L.I.C.E. protocol, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. These five aspects of the plan do not have to all be used, nor do they need to be used in a particular order. They are meant as a guideline to help you develop each of the five critical parts of any effective emergency plan.  

  • ALERT is when you first become aware of a threat. The sooner you understand that you’re in danger, the sooner you can save yourself. A speedy response is critical. Seconds count.

Alert is overcoming denial, recognizing the signs of danger and receiving notifications about the danger from others. Alerts should be accepted, taken seriously, and should help you make survival decisions based on your circumstances.

  • If evacuation is not a safe option, barricade entry points into your room in an effort to create a semi-secure starting point. Our training explains scenarios where Lockdown may be the preferable option and dispels myths about passive, traditional ‘lockdown only’ procedures that create readily identifiable targets and makes a shooter’s mission easier. ALICE trainers instruct on practical techniques for how to better barricade a room, what to do with mobile and electronic devices, how and when to communicate with police, and how to use your time in lockdown to prepare to use other strategies (i.e. Counter or Evacuate) that might come into play should the active shooter gain entry.

  • The purpose of INFORM is to continue to communicate information in as real time as possible, if it is safe to do so. Armed intruder situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly, which means that ongoing, real time information is key to making effective survival decisions. Information should always be clear, direct and in plain language, not using codes. If the shooter is known to be in an isolated section of a building, occupants in other wards can safely evacuate while those in direct danger can perform enhanced lockdown and prepare to counter. 

  • ALICE Training does not believe that actively confronting a violent intruder is the best method for ensuring the safety of those involved. Counter is a strategy of last resort. Counter focuses on actions that create noise, movement, distance and distraction with the intent of reducing the shooter’s ability to shoot accurately. Creating a dynamic environment decreases the shooter’s chance of hitting a target and can provide the precious seconds needed in order to evacuate.

  • ALICE provides techniques for safer and more strategic evacuations. Evacuating to a safe area takes people out of harm’s way and hopefully prevents civilians from having to come into any contact with the shooter. Did you know that you should break a window from the top corner as opposed to the center? Many useful techniques that civilians do not know exist and can save your life. ALICE trainers teach strategies for evacuating through windows, from higher floors and under extreme duress.

FEMA offers an Active Shooter course: FEMA Course IS-907: Active Shooter: What You Can Do

Upon completing this course, the participant will be able to:

 

- Describe actions to take when confronted with an

active shooter and responding law enforcement

officials.

 

- Recognize potential workplace violence indicators.

 

- Describe actions to take to prevent and prepare

for potential active shooter incidents.

 

- Describe how to manage the consequences of an

active shooter incident.