What Is Active Shooter Training?

With Active Shooter (AS) incidents playing out nearly every day across the globe, the question most often being asked is “Why did this occur?” and “How do we prevent these from occurring?” One response to the latter question is through providing and/or receiving instruction in a unique training curriculum referred to as “Active Shooter Training.” Below is a short list of what is often covered in most basic Active Shooter Training courses as well as how to evaluate a potential vendor. By no means is this list all-encompassing, though it can provide a good place to start.

Active Shooter Training most often consists of the following topics:

• AS history – information regarding past occurrences, such as Columbine, VA Tech, Newtown, and Navy Yard
• AS timelines – historical perspective on length of time taken from first shot to last shot fired
• AS profiling – information on the historical types of shooters and potential motives
• AS responses – from individual, group, and organizational perspectives

Advanced AS topics (for LE/Armed Responders) may also include:

• Rapid Threat Location and Identification
• Individual and Team Movements
• Rapid Clearing Techniques/CQB
• Target Engagement
• Dynamic Communication Techniques
• Combat Casualty Care/Officer Rescue
• Ballistic Shield Operator/Instructor Training
• Merging With/Assistance and Interaction With Law Enforcement

Organizations and individuals asking “What is Active Shooter Training?” range from many different locations such as schools, corporate facilities, healthcare organizations, law enforcement, security providers, and retail locations to name a few. Unfortunately, so many incidents have occurred in recent history, attempting to identify one type of location that may be at any less risk than another, is unrealistic. For this reason, the importance of this type of training being available, effective, and realistic goes without saying.

Most persons are aware of the basic concept of “Run, Hide, Fight”, which is a very good start and foundation of information to have for these types of incidents. No one can predict how someone will respond during such an incident, so empowering individuals with these three basic options can be lifesaving. Some training companies are suggesting arming individuals within a workplace, who are then expected to intervene and stop an AS. For most organizations, this is not an option, and they recognize the incredible amounts of risk in doing so. There are positives and negatives involved with choosing that type of option. That discussion is for a different article.

CCG believes that providing employees with realistic, fundamental, and effective tools that will work for anyone, with any amount of physical skill or ability, is the best mission to undertake and the one we pursue.

Active Shooter Training – Selecting A Vendor

Making a selection for which vendor to choose when considering how to best prepare one’s workplace/workforce for these events should not be taken likely. We have created a short list of questions to consider asking prior to making a decision, see below:

1. What are the qualifications of the Company offering the training?

* Have they conducted successful Active Shooter training in the past?
* Do they have satisfied and reliable references whom you may contact?
* Have past clients found their curriculum to be appropriate and realistic?
* How long has the company been in business?
* Which/how many States/geographical areas is the company currently serving?
* Is the company able to provide training on-site?

2. What are the qualifications of the instructors?

* Are they retired Law Enforcement/Military? – (Although helpful, this doesn’t necessarily make them great instructors who are capable of reaching a diverse non-LE/Military group)
* Do they have training, experience, and/or qualifications which would make them reliable sources for this type of information?
* Are they currently involved in any task forces, advisory boards, or related advanced level planning groups which signify continued involvement/training/credentialing in the industry?
* Are they currently members of any Tactical Team, SWAT Team, or similar agency where they are able to provide documentation of tactical experience and proficiency?
* Are the instructors highly experienced at teaching civilian groups, ie. non-LE or Military?

3. Is the company able to deliver additional services which they are qualified to provide such as:

* On-Site Consultation
* Facility Risk Assessments
* Development/Review of Policy and Procedure
* Large and Small Group Training
* Engaging Multimedia and Rolling Classroom style teaching
* Table-Top and Live Scenario based options
* Online (Basic) Active Shooter Training option

If the company you are considering to provide this training is able to answer the majority, if not all of the above questions in the affirmative, you are likely making a positive choice. If you still find yourself asking “What is Active Shooter Training?”, or believe it could benefit your workforce, please contact the Crisis Consultant Group, LLC today.