Is Your Business Prepared for an Active Shooter Incident?

Imagine this scenario:

Someone walks into your business and just starts randomly shooting …



More to the point:

  • Do you have policies and procedures to address this event/situation?
  • Do your employees know how to react?
  • Would your employees know how to help protect others around them, including offering lifesaving first-aid techniques?


The vast majority of active shooter incidents were predicted by employees! People who conduct mass shootings do not do so on a whim, there are many things that lead up to the event which many people witness but do not say anything. Furthermore, when employees do say something, companies seldom take any action in fear of liability issues.


Depending on your location, you should have policies, procedures and plans in place to address a wide variety of situations to include natural disasters as well as man-made calamities such as an active shooter event. Having plans are only effective if they can be executed, therefore all plans should be exercised, refined and re-run on a scheduled basis. That said, many active shooter incidents are initiated by former employees who may be familiar with the established procedures, therefore it is important that plans are updated, changed and kept “fresh”.


The best defense against an active shooter is preparation, security measures and most important of all is early warning which comes from the employees who first recognize the situation.


Law enforcement will inevitably arrive at some point, your employees need to understand how to react to their presence and if possible, assist through providing usable information (description of the shooter, last known location, etc.).


Basic first aid training can and does save lives; having this training for all employees is exceptionally important as is having well placed first aid supplies.


Simply put, it’s your employees, the ones already present in the workplace, who are the first to witness the event and unfortunately become victims, however through training and preparation they can also become survivors.



Most schools and event planners now conduct ongoing training and drills to prepare children and/or staff in the event an armed intruder enters the premises. Companies should also train their employees for the same unexpected scenario.


Failure to recognize the inherit cost of an employee being injured or killed during an active shooter incident while working for the company can quickly become a legal, financial and publicity nightmare. Proactive preemptive actions can mitigate some of these issues but more importantly can in many cases thwart an active shooter incident.


Your company may already be required to have an Emergency Action Plan. However, many legal experts agree your plan needs to include a section on how to handle active shooter situations. Depending on your location and industry, there may be various local and state laws along with government agencies that require companies to take all possible actions to develop and maintain a safe work place; this may (should) include training related to an active shooter scenario.


When a company takes proactive measures to inform and educate their employees of potential risks, including training them to help mitigate an active shooter incident, the safer and better the employees feel. In fact, it has been proven that a comprehensive program can dissuade an individual from initiating an event because they feel their efforts will be stopped before accomplishing whatever twisted goal they have.


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The Case for Ongoing Active Shooter Training

Active shooter incidents are an unfortunate reality that every workplace must face and must be prepared. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly, and proper training is the only way to prepare your employees for a shooting scenario.


For training to be effective, it is vitally important to provide your employees with the information and on-going training they need to help prevent and prepare for a potential active shooter event.


Research shows that on average, employees forget 65% of training material within a week; 6 months later, that number increases to 90%.Employees are far more likely to retain valuable information that is consistently reinforced through repetitive use and ongoing training.


The need for continued training and retraining also addresses an organization’s personnel turn over cycle and the fact that new employees may not have experienced active shooter incident training conducted a few months (or longer) before they were hired.


If you want to learn more about Active Shooter Incident Training Programs and how to help protect your company and your employees, use this link to contact us at SBS Training Solutions.

For more information, please visit our Custom Training Programs and our Standardized Programs. Or contact us and we will be happy to review your training needs.