Preparing for Active Shooter Incidents

24 09 2010

It appears that there seems to be a growing trend of shootings across the United States.  The Department of Homeland Security has recently issued information about Active Shooter incidents:

Recent shooting incidents at various locations of the United States seem to indicate rising violence at work places, and even at hospitals that were once considered safe havens.  However, the Emergency Management and Response—Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EMR-ISAC) has no credible evidence of a valid trend or pattern regarding active shooters.  Yet such threats still exist and it is best to prepare for the potential of a shooter , especially at places of work.

According to the Department of Homeland Security “Active Shooter” booklet (PDF, 984 KB), an active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.  The booklet states: “In most cases, there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.”

The booklet further explains that active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly.  Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims.  “Because active shooter incidents are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.”

 The EMR-ISAC verified that the booklet provides guidance to individuals, including responders, managers, and employees, who may be caught in an active shooter situation.  It also discusses how to react when law enforcement arrives at the incident scene.  Another useful source of information on this subject is the Mass Shooting/Active Shooter First Responder Awareness Card (PDF, 35 KB).

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