A Study of Active Shooter Incidents Free Essay

How to Prepare for Active Shooters in the Workplace

Active shooter incidents usually are difficult to predict and they evolve quickly. Immediately they cause the situation of chaos and it is important that each individual is able to play his correct role for mitigating of the potential impact of active shooter incident. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the aim to enhance preparedness with the help of creating a “whole community” approach. It provides tools and resources to help individuals and companies prepare and respond to active shooter incidents. An active shooter is defined as “an individual who is actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in the hospital or on the hospital campus. In most cases active shooters use a firearm(s) and display no pattern or method for selection of their victims. In some cases active shooters use other weapons and/or improvised explosive devices to cause additional victims and act as an impediment to police and emergency responders.” (Blair, Schweit 2014). Active shooter events are related to a great number of challenges and there is not a single method currently available, which would secure universally correct answer to the incident, only prior planning activities could help people choose the correct options in an active shooter situation with the aim to save lives and avoid other negative consequences.

On the basis of the currently available statistics, it is necessary to admit that the frequency of active shooter incidents has increased immensely in recent years. Such incidents have their impact upon various places, which people congregate, including schools, workplaces, shopping malls, public meetings, theatres and movies and so on. Such statistic data urges to take the needed steps for reduction of the risks, brought by active shooter incidents, namely improve preparedness and strengthen the efforts with the intention to prevent occurrences in the future. Active shooters are the individuals, or an individual, who aims at killing or attempting to kill people in populated areas. In most cases the major type of weapon used is firearms, but in reality any kind of weapon, a knife for example, could be used for doing harm to innocent individuals. Usually there is no defined method or pattern for selecting of victims, applied by active shooters. Unfortunately in most cases active shooter situations tend to develop dynamically and quickly. In order to stop the aggressive action usually there is a need to immediately involve law enforcement. Then the needed actions should be taken in order to mitigate the caused harm and to help the potential victims of the incident. In some cases active shooter situations are over before the law enforcement representatives manage to arrive. This is the reason, why it is so important to secure adequate and effective training for individuals in cases of active shooter incidents before the law enforcement arrive. Agencies continue to work in the direction of evaluating of active shooter events with the attempts to generate a profile of an active shooter. Certainly there are no hard links possible, which would help to create an accurate profile of an active shooter. The only thing remains is to consider the possible indicators of an active shooter.

It is important to conduct continuous evaluation of the events, related to active shooter incidents with the aim of consequent detection, management and resolution of the crisis in order to exercise early prevention mechanisms. “The ISC Active Shooter Working Group’s primary mission was to develop one cohesive active shooter document that agencies housed in Federal facilities can use as a reference to enhance preparedness for an active shooter incident(s). This document may also be useful to other local jurisdictions across the United States.” (Blair, Schweit 2014). National preparedness efforts include the procedures of planning and are based upon Presidential Policy Directive (PPD). National Preparedness, suggested by President Obama for example, represented the change in collective understanding of national preparedness on the basis of the lessons, learnt from natural disaster, terrorist acts and active shooter events.

The major areas of preparedness include five basic areas: prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery. Then these mission areas should be aligned with three temporal frameworks, related to an incident: pre-incident, incident, post-incident environments. The prevention, protection and mitigation activities usually take place before or could be modified when an incident is over. Often all the three mission areas need to be applied during an incident. Response activities should be applied during an incident and recovery activities can start during an incident and continue after it.

There are planning teams at Federal facilities, which bear the responsibility for development and revising occupant emergency plans and the needed procedures on the basis of the principles of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) with the aim to incorporate planning efforts into the available emergency programs and plans, which are worked out for the situations with active shooters and various hostile threats. “One component of NIMS is the Incident Command System (ICS), which provides a standardized approach for incident management, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity of the event. By using the ICS during an incident, Federal facilities will be able to work more effectively with the first responders in their communities.” (Blair, Schweit 2014) The document includes examples of the recommended practices to be taken into consideration with implementation purposes. Federal facility emergency managers obtain support from their leadership. They are to coordinate their efforts with local emergency managers and responders and choose the best appropriate facility and occupants. Planning teams are responsible for considering of Federal, state and local laws and regulations. A number of different documents is devoted to the awareness of active shooter incidents. All these resources could be of great use for adequate preparation and review of the active shooter plans. These resources are constantly updated on the basis of the newly obtained and learnt lessons and practical experiences. The resources have different content, including overview of the past shooting incidents and findings about them and background analysis of the situations with shooters, weaponry used and resolutions of events, which were successful and those, which failed. “The inclusion of certain references does not imply endorsement of any documents, products, or approaches. Other resources may be equally helpful and should be considered in creating or revising existing plans and procedures.” (Blair, Schweit 2014).

In order to prepare law enforcement officers for active shooter incidents there was active shooter training provided by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. This is a 24-hour classroom-based training program, which was designed to secure help and support in building critical skills for the law enforcement officers to be ready to act as first responders in mass consequence events, which could be terrorist acts, criminal acts, active shooter incidents and so on. This program is of great use, as it provides access to training facilities, it gives resources and guidelines for addressing issues, including a system of command with the aim to achieve a coordinated and effective initial response. In addition to theoretical basis there are also practical skills training program provided.

Taking into consideration the rise of active shooters, experts underline the need to organize and implement the programs for preparing of people for active shooters and not only law enforcement officers. “Numerous crisis consultants and security firms have recently entered the L&D world to help prepare and train employees for an active shooter situation in the workplace, and not without reason; 2017 broke the record for the most mass shooting deaths ever recorded. At work, a 2018 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that workplace homicides were up from 83 cases in 2015 to 500 cases in 2016, with shootings accounting for 79 percent of deaths.” (Rio 2018). Up to 80% of modern business acknowledges the need to look for active shooter policy procedures and training. The U/S/ Department of Homeland Security worked out the instructions for reacting towards the active shooter incidents: run, hide and fight. Employees in their turn “are craving any kind of insight that can be provided on what to do with both an active shooter and a hostile work environment” (Rio 2018). Barton, who is a representative of FBI, insists that the success of learning depends not only upon the organization, but also upon building an honest dialogue. Training for active shooter incidents is to the similar degree important as training for fire or other emergency situations. The aim of this training is certainly not to cause paranoia by the workers, but to build their strong awareness by of the issue and potential dangers. “When some companies have created these videos that show blood and guts — that is not in any way the kind of learning that stays with people. In fact, it repulses them.” (Rio 2018). Employees should not be frightened by the perspectives of such incidents, happening at their workplace, they just should be motivated to think really about this danger. Run, hide and fight method is considered to be easy to teach and this is the reason, why it is often used by most of the consultants. Any individual could be taught to stop, drop and roll. The most important aspect here is not related to performing of physical actions without thinking about the concrete situation. Instead there is a need to teach people to equally distribute their choices, in other words, some of them should run, others should hide or fight. “Run, hide, fight is a giant blanket they throw over the problem as a response, but it doesn’t deal with any site-specific issues.” (Rio 2018).

Overall, active shooter incidents are unfortunately not rare examples of attacks and usually they are performed in places with a great number of people, which often leads to tragic outcomes. Thus it is utterly important to work out specific programs for managing the situations of active shooting and provide adequate training theoretical and practical facilities for both law enforcement officers and usual people.

Works cited:

Blair, J. Pete, Schweit, Katherine W.  A Study of Active Shooter Incidents, 2000 – 2013. Texas State University and Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington D.C., 2014

Occupant Emergency Programs: An Interagency Security Committee Guide, March


Rio, Ave. How to Prepare for Active Shooters in the Workplace. 2018

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]
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