Times are dangerous right now. Truthfully, this seems like the understatement of the century. We are seeing record levels of gun violence each year here in the United States, and unfortunately, it only seems to be getting worse with each month that passes us by. Every morning it feels like there is another breaking news story about an active shooter claiming lives.
Work should be a safe haven from this. We should not always have to be scared for our lives and worried that someone might come in with fun. However, unfortunately, just like at schools, we do always need to be on our toes. At the very least, we should have some sort of backup plan.
I am far from the only person who feels this way. Many companies have started to implement training sessions for their employees about what to do if there is gun violence at the office. While it is truly disheartening that this is necessary, I am a firm believer in the fact that we should do our best to prepare not just ourselves, but our employees as well in case of such a horrific event.
Active Shooters: A Very Real Threat
When we see these occurrences on the news, it is all too easy to simply think, “well, that will never happen to me.” Unfortunately, we have seen a significant rise in workplace shootings in the past few years, as you can read about on this page: https://www.fbi.gov/how-we-can-help-you/safety-resources/active-shooter-safety-resources. This means that instituting policies and protections in the case of an emergency like this is becoming more important than ever.
Now, I understand that few of us really want to think about this. However, it is absolutely something that we should be keeping in the back of our minds. I am not suggesting that you live your life permanently paranoid or in fear. Rather, simply know what you would do if this were to occur.
Knowing this is where things get rather complicated. Sure, there are online guides and sources that we can utilize to help formulate an action plan. However, I find that they can leave out some of the more personal touches that could really make or break you when executing such a plan (such as the layout of your building).
Why a Training Session?
Studies show that people tend to learn more effectively from presentations and training sessions than simply reading through instructions on a piece of paper. A session can help to make sure that your employees are actively listening and involved in what is being taught. For something like this, that could end up saving a life.
While they might have some complaints about mandatory workplace active shooter training, trust me when I tell you that it will be worth it in the end. Even if there is never an incident at your business (which will hopefully be the case), they teach valuable skills for any situation involving gun firing. Allow me to provide some examples of this.
Together with an external resource that hosts such training, you can formulate your own personal strategy for how to handle workplace violence. Ideally, you will want to take certain factors such as property layout as well as any potential extenuating circumstances into account. So, a training might start out with the presenter explaining why you should take note of emergency exits in any building that you enter – including the office.
In the case of an active shooter or other threat of violence, knowing how to escape can mean the difference between life and death. Impressing upon the audience how much that matter is going to be a key component of successful training. You may incorporate some of the elements on this page as well.
No matter what you end up teaching, though, just know that it will be relevant for several facets of life. Realistically speaking, in the case of an emergency, there will be panic. Our job is to help ease that and instead direct people into the path that they should be taking (such as escaping, fighting back, or hiding).
Safety should come above everything else. If you take nothing else away from today’s article, I hope that you will remember that important fact. I only play such an emphasis on it because I find that it can be quite easy to lose sight of that.
So – now you know what to expect from active shooter training for your workforce. Employ this knowledge to design your own session or to look for a provider that can offer one to suit your needs. Each space will be different and all employee cultures vary, so taking those things into account during the design process can make a surprisingly large difference in how the audience will receive it.